Flexible working finds favour as 40% of engineering firms adapt to change

Half of the UK’s engineering firms are now offering flexible working, with 40% allowing homeworking, according to research by the UK’s biggest engineering consultant.

The study by Atkins found that holiday entitlement could also be generous, with some firms allowing up to 40 days’ annual leave.

A quarter of firms in the sector said that flexible working was an increasingly important benefit to attract and retain staff. However, one in six firms (16.6%) said they found it ‘very challenging’ to accommodate requests, compared with just 6% of firms in other sectors.

Alun Griffiths, group HR director for Atkins, said changes to working practices were necessary for companies to compete.

“In the engineering and design sectors, the problem of skills shortages is very well documented and it is essential that we look to keep hold of as much of the talent we have nurtured as we possibly can,” he said.

“Our survey suggests companies are beginning to see the importance of offering flexible working, but I think we still have a long way to go to make sure people have a genuine choice.”

Atkins surveyed HR directors at 246 employers across the UK.

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