COVID-19 has thrown flexible working into the spotlight. Almost overnight, businesses like ours across the UK have been forced to innovate and change their ways of working.
ONS data shows that at the peak of the pandemic, nearly 40% of UK workers were working exclusively from home, compared to just 5% before COVID-19. The way the business world has adapted to the crisis—whether it’s been a shift to remote working or encouraging flexible hours—proves that flexibility is possible in many more roles than employers had ever considered before.
As leaders in organisations that fully embrace flexible working in all its forms, we know that there’s no going back to business as usual after the pandemic. This isn’t a bad thing. When done right and fully embedded and supported within an organisation, flexible working can improve performance, engagement, and retention.
There’s a wealth of evidence to back this up. A study from HSBC in 2017 showed that 9 in 10 employees consider flexible working to be a key motivator to their productivity and for 89% it is a bigger motivator than financial incentives. And recent research from work-life balance charity Working Families shows that staff working flexibly within best-practice companies outperform their non-flexible counterparts.
We’re proud to join the national campaign to #flextheUK and make flexible working the rule, not the exception. This doesn’t just make business sense—it will also help close the gender pay gap and support millions of parents and carers in balancing their responsibilities at work and at home. We encourage the rest of the business world to follow our lead and harness the increases in productivity, talent attraction, and diversity that flexible working will bring to the UK economy long after COVID-19 has run its course.
Other signatories include: Admiral Group, Centrica, Deloitte, Experian, Lloyd's, Network Rail, Public Health England, TSB and Zurich Insurance.