Search Results for: flex

Wellbeing, flexibility and work-life balance top most employees’ wish list in 2023

Wellbeing, flexibility and work-life balance top most employees’ wish list in 2023

around 9 in 10 employees consider wellbeing facilities and offerings are 'critical' when choosing a workplace, and 82 percent expect support from their employers in achieving a work-life balanceThe latest Employee Wellbeing Data Report [registration] from flexible office provider Mindspace claims that around 9 in 10 employees consider wellbeing facilities and offerings are ‘critical’ when choosing a workplace, and 82 percent expect support from their employers in achieving a work-life balance. The report argues that whilst the trend of ‘quiet quitting’ may be abating and the ‘return-to-office’ mandates are increasing, the survey suggests that attitudes towards the workplace and work-life balance continue to shift, with the majority of employees putting more emphasis on mental and physical health and overall wellbeing. More →

Is the Flexible Working Bill a game changer or paper tiger?

Is the Flexible Working Bill a game changer or paper tiger?

The need for more flexible working arrangements has been heard and employees are getting what they want – right? As LinkedIn data has shown, demand for work flexible working is high. And it outpaces the current availability of remote work offers. In the UK alone, listings for remote jobs have increased by 277 percent. Job postings for hybrid or remote positions received an increase in applications (189 percent) over in-office roles. People want to work remotely for various reasons. So they can live in their chosen home rather than in a tiny flat in London without sacrificing their career. So they can care for family – children, parents, grandparents. The demand for flexible work is driven by a desire for balance. The need has been clearly voiced – and the workforce is hungry for new modes of work. Looking at this background – the cheerful response to the passing of the bill is understandable. More →

Flexible working bill gains royal assent, but doubts remain

Flexible working bill gains royal assent, but doubts remain

Employees across the UK will be given even more flexibility over where and when they work, according to the government, as the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill receives Royal Assent

Employees across the UK will be given even more flexibility over where and when they work, according to the government, as the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill receives Royal Assent. Originally a 2019 manifesto commitment to encourage flexible working, and now a private members bill from Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi, the Act will require employers to consider and discuss any requests made by their employee – who will have the right to two requests a year – within two months of a request, down from three.

However some employment law experts have highlighted some of the Act’s limitations. “It is absolutely crucial to bear in mind that this is still only a right to request – not a right to receive flexible working’, warns Hina Belitz, Partner and employment law specialist at Excello Law. “In that sense, in order to assess its efficacy and whether it will truly make a difference to the day-to-day lives of employees struggling with flexibility issues, we need further information and consideration on whether this will actually lead more people to get the flexibility they need.”Will we just see employers get better at finding clever and ostensibly fair ways to refuse these things? Will we see an increase in discrimination or similar claims linked to supposedly unfair refusals of flexible working requests? Potentially, which may prove a strain on our already full to bursting employment tribunal system.”

CIPD research shows that 6 percent of employees changed jobs last year specifically due to a lack of flexible options and 12 percent left their profession altogether due to a lack of flexibility within the sector. This represents almost 2 and 4 million workers respectively.

Workers will benefit from the following new protections once the Act is in force:

  • New requirements for employers to consult with the employee before rejecting their flexible working request.
  • Permission to make two statutory requests in any 12-month period (rather than the current one request).
  • Reduced waiting times for decisions to be made(within which an employer administers the statutory request) from three months to two months.
  • The removal of existing requirements that the employee must explain what effect, if any, the change applied for would have on the employer and how that effect might be dealt with.

Alongside the measures in the Bill, millions of workers will be given the right to request flexible working from day one of a new job. This will bring an estimated 2.2 million more employees in scope of the entitlement following a change in regulations.

The Government is also today launching a call for evidence on non-statutory flexible working to improve on knowledge of the extent of flexibility in the labour market. The aim is to increase understanding of the role of informal flexible working in meeting the needs of both employers and employees.

In response to this legislation, Acas will be updating its statutory Code of Practice following a consultation, which was launched on 12 July. The aim of the Code is to provide employers, employees and representatives with a clear explanation of the law on the statutory right to request flexible working, alongside good practice advice on handling requests in a reasonable manner.

Fifth of firms failing to meet flexible working demands of staff

Fifth of firms failing to meet flexible working demands of staff

Four-in-ten are considering leaving their current job due to a lack of access to the right digital collaboration tools for flexible workingEmployees are being denied opportunities to interact and collaborate with each other, with four-in-ten (40 percent) considering leaving their current job due to a lack of access to the right digital collaboration tools for flexible working. This comes as businesses fail to meet staff’s demands, with a fifth (20 percent) of human resources directors admitting they don’t know where to start in meeting their workforce’s flexibility needs. These are among the claims in a new report [registration] from managed workplace services provider, Apogee Corporation. More →

Flexible office space provider LABS on why the physical office space is still strategically key

Flexible office space provider LABS on why the physical office space is still strategically key

A recent survey conducted among LABS members shows that the physical office space still has a valuable place in the mindset of how they want to work. More than seven in ten of those questioned said the office is a strategic device for their businesses, and more than 74 percent of members questioned use the office for two days or more per week.

However, working culture is still developing rapidly following the pandemic and its government-mandated full time working-from-home set up, with employers and employees carefully navigating a path that tees up with company expectations as well as staff’s desire to work remotely for part of the week, which in some cases allows them to better deal with issues such as child or elder care or just attain a better work/life balance. Companies are clearly grappling with the complexities of managing diverse teams with varying needs and preferences. The seniority of employees and their distinct working styles play a crucial role in determining the feasibility and desirability of remote work.

While the Office for National Statistics reveals that 40 percent of civil servants in the UK are still working from home there is a definite flip side in the private sector. In the spring of this year, Bloomberg reported that, following a large-scale layoff programme in the tech sector, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has asked its staff to “find more opportunities to work with your colleagues in person.” This is the latest in a long line of high-profile firms to reverse their work-from-home policies including Starbucks and Walt Disney Co. Other firms in the pro-return to the office camp include Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Apple, and Peloton with the CEO of JP Morgan stating that he doesn’t believe working from home works for managers or younger members of staff. Bloomberg itself has set a minimum presence in the office of three days per week.

Amazon too has a thrice weekly attendance policy which kicked in last month in light of CEO Andy Jassy saying on the firm’s blog that “There is something about being face-to-face with somebody, looking them in the eye and seeing they’re fully immersed in whatever you’re discussing that bonds people together.” General Motors’ management shares Amazon’s three days per week requirement which came into force at the beginning of 2023, which some staff took as a U-turn in company policy from encouraging colleagues to ‘Work Appropriately’.

 

Making the office the destination of choice

As well as incentives such as free food and drinks, access to facilities including gyms and opportunities to come together at work socials, the chairman of PwC believes that AI has its part to play in luring people from their home offices. The Times recently reported that Kevin Ellis thinks that as people feel pressure from the capabilities of the likes of Chat GPT, they are more likely to want to be in the office near colleagues they can collaborate and learn from.

In a company-wide presentation, the professional services giant explained to staff how AI has the potential to fast-track trainees by a couple of years but with that accelerated knowledge base comes a responsibility to be able to coach and manage others that traditionally would have taken place over a longer period. Ellis said at the time that “people are going to want to learn from others face-to-face and the best way a human can differentiate themselves from a robot is in person.”

It’s fair to say then that the mood may well be shifting from the ‘work from anywhere’ easy come easy go attitudes of 2021 and last year. As companies continue to navigate the choppy waters of political unease in Ukraine, the continuing impact of Brexit and the worldwide inflation rates not to mention the global cost of living crisis so they are increasingly calling for near full-time attendance, symbolising a return to pre-pandemic norms, to stay competitive.

Being present in the office has many well-documented advantages such as fostering creativity, encouraging and engendering a sense of culture. And there are positive signs among LABS members too, with over three quarters of them enjoying working from the office most of the time with over half citing colleague relationships as the most important aspect of an office, up by 4 percent year on year.

Given the aforementioned global political uncertainty and economic strife, flexibility and choice for occupiers as well as employees are key components of our current work culture. In this way, workplace strategies can easily shift to address sudden changes. Which is where LABS’ turnkey solutions, available in various shapes and sizes, come in with flexible tenancy arrangements and inspiring amenities. In this way LABS can help optimise a workplace model that works for everyone.

Flexible working means large firms plan to work with less but better office space

Flexible working means large firms plan to work with less but better office space

Around half of the world’s larger multinationals are planning to cut back on their office estate in response to the rise of hybrid and flexible workingAround half of the world’s larger multinationals are planning to cut back on their office estate in response to the rise of flexible and hybrid working, according to a new report from Knight Frank. According to the study, 50 percent of employers with more than 50,000 staff worldwide will reduce their office space by between 10 and 20 percent over the next three years. However smaller firms are set to increase their demand for office space according to the real estate advisor. More →

Four million UK employees have changed careers due to a lack of flexible working options

Four million UK employees have changed careers due to a lack of flexible working options

New research from the CIPD suggests that an estimated 4 million people have changed careers due to a lack of flexible working optionsNew research from the CIPD suggests that an estimated 4 million people have changed careers due to a lack of flexible working options, while an estimated 2 million have left a job in the last year for the same reason. As a result, the CIPD is warning that businesses may face a talent exodus if they fail to offer more flexible choices to people. The CIPD’s latest report, which explores employee and employer perspectives towards flexible and hybrid working practices, highlights that offering them is key to retaining and attracting staff, addressing the current skills shortage and fostering inclusive workplaces. More →

Flexible working and its benefits are enjoyed most by highest paid workers

Flexible working and its benefits are enjoyed most by highest paid workers

Low paid workers have the least flexible working, and the gap between the number of flexible workers on the lowest and highest salaries has increased in the last year, according to figures from the Flex for Life 2023 reportLow paid workers have the least flexible working, and the gap between the number of flexible workers on the lowest and highest salaries has increased in the last year, according to figures from the Flex for Life 2023 report from advocacy group Flexibility Works. Just half (51 percent) of workers surveyed for the report earning less than £20,000 a year work flexibly, compared with eight in ten (80 percent) workers earning more than £50,000. The figures are from an analysis of flexible working in Scotland, which is supported by the Scottish Government and The Hunter Foundation. More →

Employees care more about work culture than flexible working

Employees care more about work culture than flexible working

Brits are more than twice as likely to leave their job due to negative work culture or a toxic working environment than because of limitations with flexible workingNew findings from Cpl’s Talent Evolution Group suggest employees care less about flexible working than generally thought. The survey, to 1,500 UK employees, reveals Brits are more than twice as likely to leave their job due to negative work culture or a toxic working environment than because of limitations with flexible working.  Whilst organisations may be prioritising flexibility for working parents, over 80 percent of 25–44-year-olds would not actually consider limitations to flexible working a reason to leave their position.  More →

Flexible working is the new “work-life currency”, claims new report

Flexible working is the new “work-life currency”, claims new report

A new report, Future of Work Life, from Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab explores the ways in which employees and employers navigate the current work environment and their views on the future of work shaped by the pandemic, digitalisation and the fluctuating labour market. Almost half (48 percent) of the employees in the study say that they enjoy increased flexibility at work. 52 percent consider flexible work hours or locations as key requirements, and 25 percent say that flexibility is the top priority if they would start to look for a new job. Doing work rather than going to work is seen as central in this new way of thinking about work life. More →

“Flexible working has been introduced very inflexibly”: IN conversation with Jeremy Myerson

“Flexible working has been introduced very inflexibly”: IN conversation with Jeremy Myerson

Jeremy Myerson in conversation about his new book, an inflexible form of flexible working and a great relearningOne of the latest people to invent activity-based working is a sociologist, who combined it with the similarly familiar hub and spoke office model on her substack as a solution to the Great Office Problem and as a way of implementing flexible working. She’s not the first and is a less surprising pioneer of a decades old model than some other people who should really know better. That includes an architectural practice who came up with the idea earlier this year and whose name escapes me. More →

Firms get that people want flexible working, but are still slow to act

Firms get that people want flexible working, but are still slow to act

Workers are increasingly demanding autonomy and flexible working options, but employers remain slow to respond, with only a small percentage increasing the number of flexible or remote rolesWorkers are increasingly demanding autonomy and flexible working options, but employers remain slow to respond, with only a small percentage increasing the number of flexible or remote roles, according to a new poll.  Based on a survey of 4,500 people including 500 small and medium-sized business owners, Sonovate’s report, ‘The Future World of Work’ [registration] claims that although 70 percent of businesses acknowledge that the most skilled people will only work under conditions that favour them, they had done little to enable employees to work more flexibly and reduce outgoings. More →