Flexonomics, commissioned by construction giant Sir Robert McAlpine and flexible working campaigner Mother Pukka, found that flexible working annually contributed £37bn to the UK economy. It forecast that a 50% increase in flexible working could result in a net economic gain of £55bn for the entire economy, while creating 51,200 new jobs. The study defined flexibility as any way of working that suits an employee’s needs – it did not simply entail working at home. It revealed how even hard-to-flex sectors like construction could embrace the working model whether it be through self-rostering or mutually agreed shift swaps. The high cost of refusing to accommodate flexible working requests was the result of employers not appreciating how flexible working boosted productivity and employee morale. Employers who refuse to allow it also did not realise that flexible working was linked with far lower employee absences. These errors were costing business almost £2bn a year, Flexonomics concluded.Flexible working, the report said, was about far more than simply working at home. It could be introduced in:Refusals to accommodate flexible working requests are costing businesses almost £2bn a year, one of the first reports to quantify the economic benefits of flexible work has revealed.
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