The founder and chief executive of a temporary jobs specialist, Liberty Mind, has called for more flexibility from employers after new figures revealed that the number of workers looking to leave their job increased by 13% in one year, with work-life balance being high on the priority list.
Another recent study found that 23% of employees expressed a low intent to stay with their current employer – this is 10% higher than the current global average and a 13% increase compared with last year.
In another survey, 87% of employees have thought about changing jobs due to the lack of flexible working options available at their current workplace.
Lorna Davidson, chief executive of Liverpool-based short-term recruitment agency RedWigWam, said: “Although workers who have been continuously employed for 26 weeks are entitled to request flexible working, many companies are unprepared for these requests, which, in turn, can leave staff feeling stuck in a working pattern which doesn’t fit their lifestyle.
“This results in staff feeling guilty for taking time off, with some even missing out on major life events.”
Parents are naturally more receptive to a flexible workplace. A recent report from AXA Business Insurance found that 20% of new businesses in the UK have been started by parents wanting to fit work hours around school runs.
Lorna said: “Isn’t it time we waved goodbye to the 9-5 culture and embraced flexibility in the workplace?
“There’s already so much pressure on parents to maintain a work-life balance, employers have a responsibility to offer and encourage flexible working options.
“Not being able to support requests to work flexibly could result in unhappy workers, looking for jobs elsewhere or becoming self-employed.”
She added: “At RedWigWam we have a community of 72,000 workers. We provide them with all the benefits of being fully employed – such as National Insurance and tax paid at source, pension contributions and holiday pay – with all the benefits of doing flexible work, regardless of how many hours they work.
“We also encourage all the hirers we work with to embrace flexibility.”