Ignoring employees needs for more flexibility could mean UK firms miss out on £12bn per year

Looking at more flexible working arrangements could mean billions more in output for businesses, new study from Quinyx reveals

Ignoring employees needs for more flexibility could mean UK firms miss out on £12bn per year

When you think of flexibility you may think about yoga or pilates. But there’s another sort of stretchiness sweeping the UK office space, with more and more employees asking for flexible working hours. Unfortunately, new research from Quinyx, the workforce management company, has revealed that if employers do not fully embrace flexibility the UK could risk losing out on £12bn per year in economic output.

Having mapped existing workforce trends and worker sentiment, Quinyx has estimated the potential scale and output of flexible working in the UK in the future. The research revealed demands for more flexible working hours have increased over the last couple of years. One reason is there is a lot of dissatisfaction from UK workers about their current working arrangements. Women, young professionals and blue-collar workers are suffering the most. Moreover, Quinyx calculated UK companies could compile an output of £570bn in total per year by 2023 if they would implement and be more open-minded about flexible working arrangements. This would be £12bn more compared to current levels.

Even though flexibility could benefit businesses, many employees find it challenging to achieve more flexible working hour. In fact, 16% say their manager wouldn’t be open for the request of having more flexibility and 15% of the UK workers worry that it would negatively impact the progression of their career.

Commenting on the study, Erik Fjellborg, CEO and founder of Quinyx, said: “Flexible working is an untapped solution to the UK’s biggest business challenges. The more employees are able to choose the right schedule for them, the happier – and therefore more productive – they’ll be. But it’s clear that the current mindset needs to change. Flexibility [doesn’t] need to mean increased costs and logistical nightmares. In fact, with the right tools in place, it’s simple and economical. And by increasing flexibility, employers will give workers a voice and a choice, ultimately increasing productivity, retention and their overall performance.”

Tailoring the working schedules to employees’ needs would result in more motivated, productive and happier employees. Who wouldn’t want that? 

Anne Struijcken
Anne Struijcken

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