On 26th August 1994 the Sunday Trading Act came into force, possibly one of the pivotal moments that led to today’s 24 hour economy. In 1993 it was a struggle to get a pint of milk on a Sunday, today you can access your bank 24/7 and do your weekly shop (either in person or online) at 2am on a Tuesday! We expect our utilities to answer the phone at 8pm and would even email our accountant at 10pm!
The nature of our 24 hour society has changed the way people want to work. A recent Millennial Branding reportfound 45% of Millennials will choose workplace flexibility over pay. Dori Albert, crowdsourcing practice manager at Lionbridge Technologies Inc., stated that ‘Millennials helped create a “new nature of work,” with increasing reliance on the gig economy and freelancing.’
Increased numbers of families with two parents working, along with expensive childcare has led many to seek flexibility. In 2014 there were around 7.7 million women with dependent children in the UK. Approximately 70% of these women were in employment (69.6%) - which was a higher percentage than for women without dependent children (67.5%).
With so many different organisations opening earlier or longer there is now surely an increasing need for staff to work hours outside the normal 9-5. Along with an increase in freelancers1, the traditional 9-5 is less the ‘norm’. So is flexible working slowly taking over?
Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford University economics professor, carried out a study in 2013 that found home-working employees made, on average, 13.5% more calls per week than their counterparts in the office. Which suggests that working from home is more productive - possibly due to the lack of ‘water cooler moments’ and office gossip, or maybe just fewer meetings! This suggests that even when your organisation operates 9-5, flexible working offers benefits. It is also worth considering that without a stressful commute workers have more energy.
It is possible in the near future we will be entering our virtual reality offices using some amazing technology and working at the hours that suit both employer and employee. Whilst the virtual reality concept may be a while off, the flexibility is available today. Employers who are forward looking are actively encouraging flexible working, and reaping the benefits of more dedicated staff, often willing to sacrifice salary for flexibility.
923 Jobs specialise in helping employers find staff to operate a flexible working model. If you want to find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org
1 UK Freelance Statistics
In the UK, the Professional Contractors Group estimates that:
●There are 1.4 million British freelancers working across all sectors
●This has grown 14% in the past decade
●The flexibility offered by Britain’s freelancers is worth £21 billion to the UK economy in added value
●78% of the UK public think that freelancing and flexible working help promote a good work/life balance
●72% think freelancing has a positive effect on family life