It seems that according to a new survey from the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD), flexible working practices deliver three main benefits for London-based individuals: greater job satisfaction, less pressure and a better work-life balance than people who do not have the option to work flexibly.
In addition to revealing the benefits of flexible working for employees in the capital, the CIPD survey also highlights the amount of time Londoners spend travelling to work: 47 minutes, on average, compared to a national average of 31 minutes.
Furthermore, despite having longer commutes, fewer individuals living in London have the opportunity to take advantage of flexible working compared to the national average: 52% vs. 54% nationally.
Over two-thirds (69%) of London-based employees who benefit from flexible working practices said they are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their jobs. In comparison, 52% of employees in London who do not work flexibly indicated the same.
Interestingly, flexible working also serves to reduce stress for people living in London, with 24% of flexible workers in the capital saying they felt under excessive pressure every day or once or twice a week, compared with 42% of workers who do not work flexibly.
Just under a quarter (23%) of Londoners who work flexibly said they were “very satisfied” with the work-life balances they manage to achieve, compared to just 10% of non-flexible workers.
When it came to the top benefits afforded through flexible working, a better work-life balance (53%) was number one followed by less time spent commuting (32%); reduced stress (30%); and improved productivity (30%).
In light of the findings of its survey, the CIPD is calling upon the next Mayor of London to increase the uptake of flexible working by leading a campaign.
David D’Souza, head of CIPD London, said that too much focus is still placed on more traditional 9-5 work routines, with companies placing too much value on the number of hours employees spend at their desks and not enough on their actual day-to-day output.
“Where Londoners are working flexibly, this is mostly restricted to part-time working or flexi-time unless they are a middle or senior manager. Rather than being the preserve of more senior managers, the opportunity to work flexibly in different ways needs to become the norm for many more employees,” he said.
As part of the CIPD survey, working Londoners were also asked to list what they consider to be the top three government priorities for reducing the cost and time of commuting. Reducing the cost of public transport was number one (44%), while investing in the rail and tube network (37%); and leading a campaign to increase the uptake in flexible working (20%) were second and third respectively.
The survey results come four years after the London 2012 Olympic Games, which the CIPD hoped would spark change across the capital allowing more individuals to benefit from flexible working, as well as taking pressure off the capital’s road and rail infrastructure.
It is well documented that a happy work force is a more engaged and productive workforce. If employees can work flexibly employers may find employees become more effective and deliver better results in a more time efficient way. That has to be good the employee and the employer.
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