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What’s the best industry for flexible working?

Studies showed that tech workers had a better work-life balance than those working in other UK industries

Flexible working is about working wherever or whenever you need to work, to increase creativity, productivity and morale. According to recent research, the technology sector is leading the way in flexible working.

A study by the Smarter Working Initiative found that 84% of workers in the tech sector had flexible working offered to them, way above the UK average of 65 per cent. The research suggests that tech companies are ahead of the rest when it comes to a smart way of working. Nearly three-quarters of tech workers say their employers encourage a smarter work culture, compared with only half of UK employees overall. Of the tech sector employees who are given the opportunity to work flexibly, 90% of them take the offer.

The study showed that not only did more tech workers work flexible hours than the average number of workers across other sectors, but they spent 10% more time working in places other than in the office. Over 80% of tech workers think they can work more productively when working remotely, and the same proportion believe that working outside the office boosts motivation and creativity.

It is no surprise, then, that the study showed that tech workers had a better work-life balance than those working in other UK industries, and that they were the most likely to feel the benefit of having the time for friends, family and personal pursuits.

In contrast, the worst sector for flexible working was in charities, with flexible working available to just 59% of employees and only 46% of them taking the opportunity. Fewer than half of charity workers polled said that their employer encouraged flexible working.

The Smarter Working Initiative works to encourage companies to look at ways to improve the way their employees work. As technology such as video conferencing and webinars continually improves, colleagues can maintain their cohesion and strengthen their relationships with customers, without being physically in the same room. Smarter Working Initiative’s founder, Jason Downes, commented on how good it was to see how tech companies were going beyond offering flexible hours and remote working, and innovating change in their employees’ work culture.

Since it is technology that provides the resources to make flexible working available to employees, perhaps it’s to be expected that tech sector employers are showing the way when reforming the way their employees work.

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