Flexible working tops parents’ priorities according to a survey carried out by UK charity, the Family and Childcare Trust.
The survey asked parents what would most improve their quality of family life, and showed that 20% of parents think having a family friendly employer makes their lives better, compared with 7% who want to see lower energy bills, and 5% who would like more choice over where their children go to school.
Parents’ desire for flexible working comes at a time when managers’ attitudes towards work-life balance have worsened.
Anand Shukla, Chief Executive of Family and Childcare Trust said:
“Parents have told us that having more flexible working would make a big difference in enhancing quality of life. There are a number of employers that already enjoy the business benefits of their family friendly working practices, but we would like to see more businesses adopt innovative employment policies that reflect the lives of working parents in today’s society.”
As well as making for a happier family life, the benefits of flexible working include falling absenteeism, increased productivity, access to a wider talent pool of potential employees and higher levels of work satisfaction and loyalty among staff.
Flexible working policies include allowing job shares and being open to more part-time opportunities, as well as flexible working hours and allowing employees to work from home when remote working is becoming increasingly easy with modern technology. It is important for employers to be aware that while zero hours contracts are sometimes cited as a ‘flexible’ option, they can make arranging childcare incredibly difficult for parents who have to work atypical hours.
The Family and Childcare trust provides practical support to organisations to help them reap the rewards of being a family friendly employer through its Family Friendly UK scheme.