Businesses are “under-estimating” demand for flexible working from staff

File photo of office workers. Photo: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

File photo of office workers. Photo: Philip Toscano/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Firms are under-estimating the demand for flexible working amid growing popularity of part-time, home-based or remote jobs, research shows.

A survey found that almost nine out of 10 full-time staff work flexibly or would like to do so, while one in four would prefer to work part-time.

Timewise, which promotes flexible working, said despite the demand, fewer than one in 10 jobs paying at least £20,000 a year offer flexible working options.

The UK jobs market is 'increasingly out of step' with what workers want, 'trapping' people in jobs or even locking them out of the employment market altogether, said the report.

The survey of 3,000 adults, including 1,250 full-time workers, also found that those who are self-employed are most likely to work flexibly.

Karen Mattison, joint chief executive of Timewise, said: 'Today's new research shows once and for all that flexible working is a preferred way of working for both men and women at all stages of their working lives.

'Today's workforce not only expect it, but they need it.

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'It's time for businesses to get smarter and use flexibility as a tool to attract and keep the best people. Those who lag behind in adapting how they hire will risk losing out on millions of skilled workers.'