The research reveals that 73% of Millennial employees would be more loyal to a business if they could work flexibly.
Flexibility is also key to attracting talent and 75% of 18- to 24-year-olds currently not working are more likely to apply for a job with flexible hours over a standard job.
Despite the introduction of laws by the Government in 2014 to allow everyone the legal right to request flexible working the research suffused the law is not working. Almost half (44%) of UK employees think that requesting flexible working would be viewed negatively by colleagues.
The research is part of Digital Mum’s #WorkThatWorks movement, which aims for flexible working to become the norm, rather than the reserve of a "lucky" few. Digital Mums is calling on individuals to sign a petition on Change.org to petition to change the Government’s current definition of flexible working.
Currently the government define flexible working as something that focuses solely on a "way of working that suits and employee’s needs"; Digital Mums argue it should be changed to "work that works for employees and businesses."
Kathryn Tyler, co-founder Digital Mums, explained: "The government’s ‘right to request’ law will never make an impact while flexible working is seen as a dirty word and an employee perk. We need employers to wake up to fact that flexible working is about attracting and retaining a generation of workers who are being failed by a rigid and restrictive ‘9 to 5 coat-on-chair’ culture. That’s why we’re calling on everyone to sign our petition to change the government’s definition so we can clean up the F-word and change the way we work forever."
London deputy mayor for business, Rajesh Agrawal, added: "I hope this campaign will mean more businesses recognise the benefits, and dispel some of the myths, about flexible working practices – not only do they make a huge difference to employees’ quality of life, they also enable businesses to better tap into the best pool of talent."
Key takeaways from the research
Over half (51%) of UK employees think asking for flexible working hours would be viewed negatively by their employer;
yhis fear factor is most significant amongst millennials, with two-fifths (40%) saying they’d be too nervous or worried to ask for flexible working hours;
despite 68% of UK employees still not having access to flexible working, six in ten (61%) UK workers said they would be more productive if they could work flexibly;
over two-thirds (67%) said they would be more loyal to a business;
significantly, 75% of 18- to 24-year-olds not working are more likely to apply for a job with flexible hours over a standard job.