Overwhelming majority of Scottish workers say flexible working improves the quality of their lives

Around nine out of 10 Scots who work flexibly say it improves their quality of life and makes them happier, according to a YouGov poll commissioned by Family Friendly Working Scotland.  However, the study also found that fewer than half of Scottish workers (46 percent) said they are offered flexible working by their employer. The figures are published to coincide with National Work Life Week, which sets out to encourage firms to explore flexible working options and help their staff find a better work-life balance. The poll of more than 1,000 Scots claims that among those who already work flexibly, 77 percent say they are more productive and are willing to “go the extra mile” for their employer. Almost half of people who took part (49 percent) say changing their start and/or finish time would help while nearly a third (32 percent) would like occasional time off for family emergencies, deliveries or school events. Just one in five (21 percent) say reducing their hours, or going part time, would be valuable.

Nikki Slowey, joint programme director for Family Friendly Working Scotland, said: “Too many people still think working flexibly is about mothers and part time work. “But our latest research to mark National Work Life Week shows this assumption is outdated. “The ability to work flexibly is wanted by men and women and is sought after by workers of all ages, parents and non-parents alike. “Many just want small changes, such as amending their start or finish time, or having occasional time off for family emergencies, deliveries and school events.”

The online poll quizzed 1,021 adults in September. It claims that aside from pay, more than half of Scottish workers (53 percent) say flexible working is important when looking for a new job. However, only one in eight jobs in Scotland mention flexibility at the point of hire. This means employers miss out on attracting key talent, according to the report’s authors. Nearly a third (31 percent) said their employer could do more to help them work flexibly and 14 percent said employers were “all talk” regarding flexible working.

National Work Life Week is an annual campaign by Family Friendly Working Scotland and UK Working Families to encourage employers and employees to talk about well-being at work and work-life fit.