A third of workers job hunting to find more flexibility

More than a third of full-time workers in the UK are currently looking for a flexible job which allows them to balance home and work commitments, a report has claimed.

Workers say they value being able to work flexibly.

The study also found that 71 per cent of people consider flexible working – in terms of both the hours and location they work – as important to their job satisfaction.

However, half of the 2,000 adults surveyed said they cannot work remotely when they want or need to and 46 per cent have no flexibility in the hours they work.

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Consequently, one in three full-time workers have left a job in the past 12 months because they wanted a role that offered greater flexibility. The desire for flexibility is higher in the younger age group - with more than half of 18 to 24 year olds saying they were looking for a new job to find a better balance =- compared to 37 per cent overall.

Nic Redfern, director of KnowYourMoney.co.uk, which commissioned the research, said: “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.”

Three quarters 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 per cent would take a relative pay-cut to move from a five-day to a four-day week.

The survey also found that 45 per cent 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. Over two-fifths do not feel their employer supports or cares about their mental health and almost a third are unhappy with their current work-life balance.