For a healthy mind, body and business

Flexible Working: How Coronavirus cracked the conversation open

woman working with child at home
Ivan Samkov, Pexels

Flexible working has been talked about for years. It isn’t new but it has, in the last couple of years, become a much bigger focus for employees and employers alike. Campaigner, Anna Whitehouse (aka Mother Pukka) sees this as a pivotal moment for organisations to reassess their flexible offerings.

Meeting the demand for flex

Anybody who has worked for an organisation for at least 26 weeks is legally entitled to ask for flexible working. This doesn’t just mean working from home; it covers reducing your hours, working specific shifts or days or even job sharing. 

Yet despite the demand, not everybody has offered it. According to one study, fewer than three in 10 UK employers offered flexible working last year but this recent data shows a year-on-year increase in remote working and it has grown 159% globally since 2005. 

Not until the Coronavirus pandemic forced companies to implement working from home out of necessity, did we suddenly see proof that it is possible. 

“It’s proved that the technology is there to facilitate it,” says Whitehouse, who leads the Flex Appeal campaign to push for flexible working for all. "Globally we’re now working in a more flexible way – overnight we have seen how quickly the tech can be put into place, how quickly teams can work remotely." 

Of course, not every job can realistically be done from home but Whitehouse has been campaigning for more flexible working for over five years, ever since her own request for it was denied by her then-employer. 

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