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Flexible working right should become law, UK workers say

Image Credit: Bruce Mars / Pixelbay
(Image credit: Image Credit: Bruce Mars / Pixelbay)

UK workers would love to see flexible working options become law, but many are unaware of the government actually working on regulating the practice.

A report from Soffos surveying 1,200 UK adults in both full-time and part-time employment, found that half (50 percent) believe they should have a legal right to request flexible working options from day one on a new job. 

However, just over a third (35 percent) are aware of the proposed new legislation which, if it gets passed into law, would do just that. 

Legal shenanigans to the side, there are also cultural barriers to the wider adoption of remote and flexible working arrangements, Soffos further found. Apparently, a third said their firm’s culture is opposed to the idea, with almost a fifth (17 percent) being turned down at least once in the last 12 months. 

Then, there’s the issue of future promotions and pay rises. Almost two in five (36 percent) said they believe people who commute will be favored, with half (46 percent) adding that on-site employees get better support, compared to their remote working peers.

The UK Government’s consultation to reform flexible working regulations ended on December 1, and for Soffos CEO and founder, Nikolas Kairinos, the timing is perfect.

“As more members of the workforce begin to return to the office, our findings suggest that some remote workers are feeling sidelined, with many looking to pastures new, in order to enjoy conditions that they may find more suitable. Whether perceived or real, firms must take action to dispel any concerns that remote work is not as valuable as the in-office experience,” he said.

“While the government’s consultation is a step in the right direction, firms must be proactive in driving meaningful change, and I would encourage business leaders to consider how they can do so with technology at their side. Whether it is by investing in new platforms where employees can exchange ideas, providing more sophisticated communication and productivity software, or simply offering regular online catch-ups, organizations must level the playing field and keep valued employees close.”  

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.