Flexible working soars as 46% of employers offer working at home

The number of people enjoying flexible working has rocketed in the past few years as employers offer more flexibility than ever, a survey has revealed.

The latest Employment Trends Survey by the CBI and recruitment firm Pertemps found that almost half of all employers (46%) said they now offered teleworking or home working to staff – a dramatic increase from 14% two years ago and 11% in 2004.

Bosses believe that staff may be trying to cut their carbon footprint, or are avoiding a troublesome commute and poor transport infrastructure. The report also showed that other strands of flexible working have also shot up, particularly term-time working, and job sharing.

John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general, said: “The boundaries of the traditional nine-to-five in the office or on the shop floor are becoming more and more blurred. Employers are embracing the benefits of flexible working, even as the economy heads into more uncertain times.

“Using teleworking to take work out of the workplace has become very popular, and is also a useful way to avoid a laborious commute, balance family commitments, and even reduce carbon emissions. As technology becomes more reliable and widely available, this trend can only grow.”

Other finding of the survey of 513 employers included:

  • In the last year, one third of employees reaching retirement age asked if they could postpone their retirement. Eight in 10 (81%) of those requests were granted.
  • Nearly all (93%) employers offered at least one form of flexible working
  • Two-thirds of employers (64%) said that ‘cumbersome’ employment regulation was endangering labour market flexibility
  • A quarter (25%) of employers had taken positive action to improve equality at work
  • A third (32%) have voluntarily conducted an equal pay audit.

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