More than a third of full-time workers in the UK are currently looking for a new job because they would like a role with greater flexibility, new research from KnowYourMoney.co.uk has revealed
The website commissioned a study among more than 2,000 UK adults, who were all in full-time or part-time work. It found that 71% of people consider flexible working – in terms of both the hours and location they work – as important to their job satisfaction. Women are more likely to say this than men (74% versus 67% respectively).
However, half (50%) cannot work remotely when they want or need to, and 46% have no flexibility in the hours they work.
Consequently, one in three (29%) of full-time workers have left a job in the past 12 months because they wanted a role that offered greater flexibility. Furthermore, 37% of full-time staff in the UK are currently looking for a new job for the same reason – this figure rises to 52% among those aged between 18 and 24, and 46% for 25-34-year-olds.
The research also demonstrated employees’ strong appetite to reduce the working week from five to four days.
Three quarters (75%) of UK workers are in favour of a four-day week even if they have to squeeze their full five-day hours into one fewer days, while 49% would take a relative (20%) pay-cut to move from a five-day to a four-day week.
Elsewhere, the survey uncovered that 45% of workers find it harder now than in the past to detach themselves from their jobs because they receive work emails on their smartphones around the clock. Moreover, over two-fifths (42%) do not feel their employer supports or cares about their mental health and almost a third (32%) are unhappy with their current work-life balance.
Nic Redfern, Director of KnowYourMoney.co.uk, commented: “Working practices have changed radically over the past two decades – the rise of new tech has made it far easier and more common for employees to work remotely and flexibly. However, our research clearly shows many workers feel their employers have not yet caught up with the flexible working trend, so it’s important managers take note of these findings and assess how they can cater to the demands of their workforce.
“Evidently, organisations are at risk of losing talented staff if they cannot provide more flexible structures, whether that’s relaxing the set offices hours, allowing employees to work from home, or even offering the option of a four-day week. Ultimately, technology shouldn’t increase employees’ stress level by preventing them to switch off, but instead should be embraced to create new opportunities for people to achieve a better work-life balance.”