Less than a third of UK workers are currently offered flexible working by their employer, but the COVID-19 crisis could result in it becoming the new normal, experts say.
A survey of 2,000 employees by Flexioffices found one in 10 people applied for their job because of the flexible working hours being offered, and 15% would consider leaving their role if flexible working was taken away.
Despite this, around 70% of workers are not given the option to work flexibly, the poll found.
When asked what the main benefits of flexible working are, 39% said they enjoy work more, 36% said they were less stressed and 34% claimed they were more productive.
Another third said they felt valued and 29% said flexible working saves them money.
Michael Dubicki, business director from Flexioffices, said the research indicates it is time for employers to re-think how they approach remote working and for a lot of companies this will mean a culture change.
Adrian Lewis, commercial director at Activ Absence, suggested that when the country eventually goes back to business as usual after the COVID-19 crisis, flexible working will be the new normal.
“Employers who have been reluctant to implement flexible and remote working will now find themselves forced into adopting a more flexible strategy in order to survive,” he said.
“We believe that once these businesses have set up the technology and tools to enable home working and witnessed the benefits of these new flexible working policies they will become the new normal once the world returns to business as usual.”
However, Lewis warned that employers need to implement a digital framework to make home working logistically possible.
“Changing traditional working patterns can be challenging, the key is having the right IT systems in place, so the business doesn’t suffer. This includes providing remote access to HR and people systems,” he explained.