Why flexible working shouldn't be about whether you have children

The workforce is changing. The way people want to work is moving away from the standard 9-5, to a more flexible approach. A topic on everyone’s list at the moment is flexible working and what exactly businesses are doing to offer their employees the flexibility they need. 

Becoming a parent is what opened my eyes to flexible working (and how much I enjoy it!) but I remember the jealousy I often got from colleagues in previous roles about working a 4 day week. 

I think there’s still so much stigma around flexible working built by internal business cultures, that it’s only for people with children or disabilities, when in reality it should be accessible to anyone, no matter their circumstances. 

People without children may feel they’re considered to be someone without a “good enough reason” to warrant a flexible working week. But perceptions need to change. Not having children does not mean you have no other responsibilities, commitments hobbies or interests outside of work. No matter the circumstances,  whether that be to care for an elderly parent or just to go to an extra yoga class during the day, everyone’s reason should be treated as equally valid.

In our recent survey, we found that 63% of people would like the opportunity to work from home and 58% wanted alternative working hours to suit their needs. 

Flexible working is not a one size fits all, it’s not just a four day week anymore. It might be starting and finishing later, or working from home two days a week or being able to have open conversations with your manager about how you work best. 

Creating an inclusive environment so that employees feel valued is one of the key parts to retaining talent in any organisation, and flexible working is just one piece of the puzzle. 

Do you have a story you want to tell or a topic you want to talk about?  Get in touch. 

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