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Cath Everett

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Flexible working key to retention

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While a huge 85% of workers would be more likely to stay with their current employer if they offered a broader range of flexible working options, less than half of organisations currently do so.
 

These are the findings of a survey among 680 workers and 420 employers undertaken by recruitment agency Hays in June this year. The research revealed that only 46% of all organisations actively encouraged flexible working, with the figure rising to just over half in the private sector.
 
A mere 29% of employers believed that offering flexible working was integral to the success of the business, while just under one in five said they supported the measures only to comply with existing legislation.
 
Charles Logan, a director at Hayes, said: “As pay freezes remain in place for many organisations across both sectors, looking at how to retain your staff and keep them engaged is moving up the agenda. Offering simple flexible working options could make the difference between keeping or losing staff at a critical time when the best employees are needed to drive recovery.”
 
Public sector bosses were the most likely to encourage flexible working for all of their staff with 35% going down this route, but the figure halved to a mere 18% in the private sector.
 
As a result, only 55% across all sectors welcomed government plans to introduce legislation offering such options to all employees, with seven out of 10 expecting an increase in requests as a result and nearly two in five bracing themselves for a hike in costs.
 
Some 44% of private sector employers predicted that costs would rise as a result of such moves compared to 33% in the public sector.
 
Nonetheless, the proposals are popular with staff. A massive 95% of personnel said that flexible working improved work-life balance, while 20% considered such policies ‘essential’ when choosing a job.
 

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