53% would prefer flexible-working arrangements to a pay rise


More than half (53%) of employee respondents would rather be offered flexible-working arrangements as a benefit than a 5% salary increase, according to research by My Family Care and Hydrogen.

The competitive advantage of flexible and family-friendly working report, which surveyed 1,587 UK employees and 310 UK employers, also found that 81% of employee respondents look for flexible-working options before joining an organisation.

The research also found:

  • 37% of employee respondents have flexible start and finish times, and 63% of employee respondents would like to be offered this.
  • 45% of employee respondents would choose flexible working over a 10% salary increase.
  • 86% of respondents who are parents and 81% of respondents with adult carer responsibilities prioritise flexible working when looking for a new role.
  • 26% of female employee respondents and 18% of male respondents worry that working flexibly could impact their career prospects.
  • 54% of employee respondents would like the opportunity to work remotely or to work from home, and 34% are encouraged to do so.
  • 87% of employee respondents and 92% of employer respondents believe that those who work flexibly are just as, if not more, productive than employees who work regular hours.
  • 28% of employee respondents do not feel comfortable talking to their employer about introducing a more fluid working pattern.
  • 52% of employee respondents believe it will be more challenging for organisations to retain staff if they do not offer flexible working.
  • More than half (55%) of millennial employee respondents would like flexible start and finish times, and 24% would like to work remotely more than once a week.

Ben Black (pictured), director at My Family Care, said: “With so many of any given workforce having some kind of caring or family responsibility, the benefits of flexible working are vast. With the rising number of working mothers in the UK, the increase in pension age, a rapidly ageing population, and the emergence of the so-called sandwich generation where individuals are called upon to care for both their children and elderly relatives, businesses need to see the value in offering flexible working to attract and retain top quality staff.

“The ‘bums on seats’ culture is on the way out. Flexible working is the future; it should not even be seen as a benefit but simply the best way of getting things done; it helps individuals create a happy and healthy work-life balance that is essential to get the very best out of an individual.”