Flexible working as important as salary, say UK businesses

Flexible working policies for employees have become as important as levels of pay, new research suggests.

Almost a third (32 per cent) of companies believe that full flexibility is the optimal working environment.

UK businesses identified both flexible working (35 per cent) as well as salary (35 per cent) to be equally compelling factors when attracting and retaining staff, according to the study from HSBC.

Almost a third (32 per cent) of companies believe that full flexibility is the optimal working environment.

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Just over a quarter (26 per cent) of firms want employees to be in the office four days a week, 17 per cent opted for two to three days a week and only 4 per cent went for one day a week in the office. Meanwhile, 14 per cent said fully remote working would be the best option and 7 per cent said no remote working at all.

The research, which polled more than 2,100 business leaders from ten global markets, showed that UK companies are already seeing the positive impact of flexible working on attracting and retaining staff (66 per cent), building a positive culture (64 per cent), improving productivity (61 per cent) and driving wellbeing (60 per cent).

Roland Emmans, technology sector head at HSBC UK, said: “It’s clear that employees are increasingly expecting flexibility to be the norm. As competition for talent intensifies, companies need to look beyond tactical delivery - such as increased connectivity and communications technologies – and embed enhanced flexible working practices to keep their workforce engaged and productive.

“Business leaders who want to innovate, thrive and grow need to ‘relearn’ what work looks like so that they can drive their company culture remotely and push their business forward.”

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