‘Demand for flexible working set to increase post July 19’
By Pooja Shrivastava
HALF of employers in England is expecting a surge in the demand for flexible working after the country comes out of the Coronavirus pandemic, says a recent survey published on Thursday (15). Meanwhile, a leading British media personality has warned working women to not fall for flexible working arrangement, calling it a “career-tastrophe for women”.
According to a survey by Acas commissioned by YouGov, about 50 per cent of employers are expecting an increase in demand by staff for flexible working arrangement while nearly 40 per cent are expecting an increase in staff working from home or remotely all week.
Advising employers that hybrid working can help businesses attract and retain staff, the survey report states that under such arrangements, employees can benefit by saving costs and the time spent travelling to work as well as enjoying a better work life balance.
Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said: “The pandemic has greatly impacted working life and it’s unsurprising that many employers and their staff have seen the benefits of flexible working during this difficult period.
“Our new advice can help employers look at the potential benefits of hybrid working, consider whether it is suitable for their workplace, and fairly manage any staff requests.”
The report’s other recommendations to employers include discussing practical considerations such as regular communication, health and safety and making sure that staff who are working remotely are not excluded and have access to the same opportunities as those in the workplace such as team building activities, training and development.
Meanwhile, media personality Janet Street-Porter has claimed that flexible working is a “career-tastrophe for women”.
“Sold to us as flexible working, with all the benefits, we’re told, of a better work-life balance, the idea of staying at home for all or part of the week seems especially attractive to women who still take the lion’s share of responsibility for family life and domestic drudgery,” Street-Porter wrote in Mail Online.
Pointing out that women usually struggle after maternity leave “to resume their position in the pecking order and carry on with their careers after a year out with a newborn”, the 74-year-old warned the working women in the country to “not fall for it”.
“If they (women) choose to WFH after July 19, the impact will be the same. It will be men who decide to return to work first and men whose careers will advance, at a huge cost to female equality,” wrote Street-Porter in a column on Wednesday (14).