Flexible working is the way forward.

 

diary workI like to keep an eye on what is happening in the business and finance world. Finance can be dry and difficult to read and I like my information to be accessible. A really good source of up to date topics around finance is the London School of Business and Finance Google + page. It shares interesting articles relating to finances that are both useful and relevant.

I recently read an article signposted on there about flexible working and how the UK economy could gain £90 billion from embracing it!  How nice to see something positive about flexible working rather than the usual chunter about how parents (in particular) are a drain on the economy because of their demands for more flexible work hours! I was so pleased to see this post.

I used to be a social worker specialising in training child development issues to other social care staff. Lack of flexibility 10 years ago around my work hours saw me leave and have no choice but to become self-employed. I didn’t really want to have to quit my job but they were not flexible enough for me (and actually a lot of my job could have been done at home outside traditional office hours very easily).

Recent research from the Center of Economics and Business found that simply allowing workers to work from home for an average of two days per working week could save employees £3.8 billion annually in transport costs. This would also cut commuting times by 533 million hours a year.  My job missed a trick really by not allowing me to work flexibly!

Many parents I know don’t work for the very reason that they can’t fit their working day around the school run  The study found that almost seven out of ten people who can’t commit to a full-time job said they’d be more inclined to start working if they could do so in flexible conditions.

And I found it really interesting that the wish for flexible working was in no way just confined to mothers of younger children as is often thought. Apparently a whopping 83% of knowledge workers (such as engineers, doctors, and lawyers) would make use of flexible working options if they had the opportunity. Wow!

So flexible working could save us a fortune, save huge quantities of time and gain us a whole new (contented) workforce. Let’s hear it for flexible working and keep it high on the political and business agenda.

 

Written in collaboration with LSBF

 

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