Tag: flexibility

73% of workers will accept a four-day work week if pay does not decrease

A survey of over 2,000 UK workers and 250 UK employers found that flexible work is more popular among job seekers than a four-day work week.

Despite 37% of employers implementing a four-day working week, recent research from Reed.co.uk has found that candidates are more likely to apply for a job offering “flexible working” opportunities (45%) than a “four-day working week” (40%). “Work from home” followed at 32%, and “opportunity to progress” was noted at 31%.

According to the research, despite 89% of workers favouring a four-day working week, flexible work remains the more popular alternative for employers seeking to generate job applications. Flexible working is defined as a way of working that suits the individual’s needs, with flexible start and finishing times and/or the freedom to work from home.

The research also found that only 16% of workers would accept a pay reduction in exchange for a shorter week. Seventy-three percent of respondents were open to the shorter week if pay did not decrease.

Over a third (37%) of employers have implemented a four-day working week, and 27% are considering it.

Generally, the reasons for employers’ support of the four-day working week are focused on employee wellbeing. The benefits cited include:

  • “better work-life balance” (51%)
  • “increased employee happiness” (43%)
  • “higher employee engagement” (41%)
  • “increased productivity” (36%)
  • “reduction of burnout” (36%)

James Reed, Chairman of Reed.co.uk, comments: “Despite strong arguments in favour of a four-day working week, evidenced also by recent UK trials, our research suggests that it may not be the best or most popular way for businesses to attract and retain top talent.

“The National Forum for Health and Wellbeing at Work has suggested that cramming five days’ work into four might contribute to stress. Instead, offering greater flexibility could be more impactful and more popular.

“Amid a highly competitive labour market, it’s encouraging to see so many employers open to exploring new and creative methods to attract candidates. The era of the traditional 9-to-5, five day working week is over and it’s now more important than ever for employers and employees alike to embrace flexible and inclusive working patterns that will allow everyone to contribute to the workforce.”

Share this article on social media

Mental health decreased by 14% since start of pandemic

In a survey of over 1,000 employees to analyse how SME leaders in the UK adapted to the mental health needs of employees during the pandemic, GetApp found that 71% of employees received no mental health resources from their companies. This, even though good mental health decreased by 14% since the beginning of the pandemic.

The survey found that 18% of respondents told their leaders about their mental health issues. However, 16% of managers did nothing in response. The study further revealed that 11% of employees struggled with mental health issues, but their managers did not address their challenges.

Twenty-three percent of respondents were uncomfortable discussing their mental health conditions with their managers. A further 36% wouldn’t talk to anyone at work and would rather seek help externally.

Where managers did support their employees with their mental well-being, the findings were:

  • 55% took time to listen to their employees’ mental health concerns
  • 30% motivated their staff to take time off work
  • 27% scheduled regular check-ins
  • 42% of employees found the support very helpful compared to the 18% who found it unhelpful. The balance found the support somewhat helpful
  • 66% of employees who did receive mental health support received support via email, while 39% received in-person support, 24% received support through printed material, and 18% through virtual workshops

The study also found that 23% of employees now feel less connected to the company culture than before the pandemic. This is likely attributed to the fact that 27% of employees shared that their companies did not host social events, while 20% host them once a year. Nineteen percent host them once a quarter.

According to the respondents, the most valuable mental health resources were:

  • flexible work schedules (44%)
  • mental health days (36%)
  • access to a specialist to assist and provide employee support (24%)

Yoga and nutritional wellness programs were found to be the least useful resources.

David Jani, Content Analyst at GetApp UK, commented: “It was a surprise to see as many as 71% of our participants had not received access to workplace mental health resources at all during the pandemic.

This was also combined with a reluctance by around 23% to speak to a manager or decision-maker about declining mental health and 16% not receiving any response from their superiors when the issue was raised.

Having support from your company can be vital when experiencing mental health difficulties. This was observed from the 29% of workers that received assistance from their companies, with 42% of this group saying the resources they received were “very helpful” and another 38% regarding the assistance as “somewhat helpful” to their well-being.”

While UK employees appear to be reluctant to discuss their mental health in the workplace, effective support by employers is critical to the workforce’s mental health.

 

 

 

 

 

Share this article on social media

38% of men apply for roles based on flexibility

Recent research by skills organisation City & Guilds has suggested that outdated stereotypes and ways of working are holding women back from accessing high paying job opportunities in traditionally male dominated industries. The research found that women are shunning jobs in areas such as construction, energies and utilities and transport in favour of lower paying sectors.

As women are more likely than men to take on caring responsibilities throughout their working lives, the research pointed towards the need to create more flexibility and a better work/life balance to open the doors to jobs that seem inaccessible to many women. Women also need to be made aware of the range of opportunities available to them, by reaching young women as early as possible.

The Great Jobs research explored the attitudes of 10,000 UK working age people towards the essential jobs that keep the nation running found that when looking for a new job, 53% of working age women prioritise flexibility, compared to just 38% of male respondents, whilst 65% of women opt for a good work life balance compared to 57% of men.

Women are more likely to be interested in careers in typically female dominated industries – such as education (37%), health and social care (31%), and retail (43%). These jobs are more likely to be in the public sector, offering part-time roles with flexible hours. But they also typically offer lower salaries. In comparison, according to the research, very few women would consider working in essential jobs in traditionally male dominated industries like energies & utilities (14%), IT, communications and finance (23%), construction (9%) and transport and logistics (14%).

The research also revealed that across the 10 essential job sectors women were consistently more likely than men to say that they wouldn’t consider a job because they ‘don’t have the relevant skills, experience or qualifications.’ This serves to highlight the well-known gender confidence gap when it comes to job applications, stemming from outdated gender stereotypes.

Kirstie Donnelly MBE, CEO of City & Guilds, said: “We desperately need to consider how we can make a wider variety of jobs more accessible and attractive to women by introducing more flexibility for employees and ensuring that women realise that careers in male dominated sectors could be a good fit for them. This will be pivotal to opening up new career opportunities, but it will also create a more diverse, equal and productive workforce – and help employers fill critical skills gaps. We also need to offer better careers advice and guidance to girls from primary school age onwards and give better access to role models of women working in male dominated careers.”

Share this article on social media