With flexible working set to become the norm over the next few years, a growing number of employers now embrace this concept and accept that addressing the flexible working gap is a path to attaining a more productive working environment for employees and employer alike.
In a survey of Managers by the Institute of Leadership & Management, 82% think offering flexible working is beneficial to their businesses – with improvements in productivity, commitment and retention.
Figures show there are over 427,000 female professionals looking to return to work following a career break. Price Waterhouse Coopers believe that addressing the career break penalty could deliver gains of up to £1.7 billion to the UK economy alone. (https://www.pwc.co.uk/services/economics-policy/insights/women-returners.html).
A number of market leaders, including PwC, Vodafone & JP Morgan, have been looking at ways to encourage women back to work after extended career breaks. The outcome of one of these projects has been to introduce “Returnship” programmes in various forms, providing “an effective route back to professional roles, with transitional support to upskill and regain professional self-belief”.
At least 76% of women not currently working want to return to work at some stage with a large number of these looking for flexible working in the guise of either reduced/compressed hours or the ability to work from home for at least some of the time. (PwC/Women Returners)
Organisations are beginning to look at how to attract these talented candidates to fill their vacant roles and by offering flexible working to these prospective employees, they can create a positive outcome for both parties:
Here at 9-2-3 we specialise in finding flexible jobs for professional people. Educating our clients in how offering flexible working will provide benefits for their businesses:
· According to 76% of businesses questioned for a recent CIPD report, Flexible working improves staff retention
· Higher Productivity (83% businesses reported higher productivity – Vodafone 2016)
· Increased Profits (61% saw a rise in profits – Vodafone 2016)
· Fewer Sick days (A recent survey by Unison showed that sickness reduced from 12% to 2% amongst those that worked flexibly. https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2014/09/On-line-Catalogue225422.pdf
We find highly skilled candidates for roles, looking at how flexible working can be provided to meet both the client and candidate needs. We are currently developing a 5 point back to work programme of our own for women returning to work after a career break. Our programme offers participants the opportunity to take 5 different elements of coaching including: technology, career, confidence, mindfulness and presentation, enabling participants to return to workplace, fully prepared and confident in their ability to kickstart their career again.
In September 2017, a survey was carried out on behalf of 9-2-3, which found that 3 in 4 workers believe we will all be working flexibly within 5 years. The survey also showed that flexibility was the most important factor when selecting a job (along with pay and location – and ahead of the benefits package and career prospects).
The next time you are looking to recruit, think about how you can make the role flexible and engage a whole group of professionals who are waiting to add value to your company.
To coin a phrase - The future is bright, the future is flexible.
9-2-3 RESEARCH: 1,002 male and female office workers in the UK were questioned (Sept 2017):