The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) found that some form of flexible working is already offered by 94% of UK organisations.
In a survey of over 1,000 managers, half said they believe flexible working is now standard practice where they work. However, it seems the practice is more prevalent among with more senior staff. Most CEOs (77%) work flexibly, compared to 54% of senior managers and 37% of first line managers.
The benefits of flexible working are beginning to get noticed, with 82% of managers saying they have seen positive business benefits.
The research did highlight some negative attitudes still present surrounding the issue of flexible working: 22% of manager said they believe working flexibly would be ‘career limiting’, while 31% had heard colleagues make derogatory comments about those working flexibly.
It appears there is still some way to go before every office worker is given the freedom to work at any time and in any location. The most common type of flexible working seen today is flexible hours (77%), followed by part-time work (75%) off-site working (62%) and job sharing (47%).
Charles Elvin, chief executive of ILM, said: “Work used to be the place you turned up to — now, it’s increasingly something you can do anywhere, at any time.”
“Our research did identify a number of residual cultural barriers, which are preventing some organisations from fully embracing the advantages of flexible working. Openness and honesty about flexible working policies can alleviate worries and uncertainty, help to address negativity and highlight the opportunities and advantages to all staff.”