UK-Flexible Working Increased Five-Fold in Last 20 Years, Analysis Finds
The number of people working ‘flexible hours’ in the UK has increased five-fold in the last two decades, according to an analysis of working trends by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies.
According to the 1999 Labour Force Survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the percentage of people working flexible hours in the UK was 9.5% at that time. Recent statistics from CIPD show that this number increased, with 54% of workers currently having the option to operate outside of typical nine-to-five office hours.
Despite the five-fold increase, a 2019 UK Working Lives Report found 68% of professionals would like to work flexibly in a way that is not currently available.
Ann Swain, Chief Executive of APSCo, commented on the analysis, “The advancements of technology over the past 20 years have no doubt played a significant part in making this possible. The collaborative software now available means that team members can communicate and work remotely with ease.”
“Flexible working also plays an important role in bringing equality to the workplace,” Swain added. “People with disabilities or caring responsibilities, for example, often are unable to commute to the office or work conventional hours, therefore the option to work part-time, compressed hours or remotely is a necessity. As more employers begin to see the opportunities associated with flexible working, we can both boost diversity and inclusion and help end the dire skills shortages which are impacting many sectors.”
Simon Blockley, CEO of Guidant Global, also commented, “Through offering the option to work flexibly, businesses can access a wider, deeper and more diverse pool of talent to drive increased innovation, creativity and profitability.”