Fewer than three in ten jobs offer flexible working, study shows

Research found just 27% of roles advertised in 2021 mentioned flexible working options.

Survey finds quarter of Scottish jobs offer flexible working despite Covid pandemic iStock

Fewer than three out of ten job vacancies being advertised in Scotland offer flexible working, research has suggested, despite the Covid pandemic bringing about the “biggest shake-up to working patterns in living history”.

Analysis of more than 340,000 job adverts carried out for the Timewise Scottish Flexible Jobs Index 2021 found that 27% mentioned flexible working options – such as working from home, part-time hours or other options.

That is up from a quarter (25%) of positions having the possibility of flexible working the previous year and 19% of positions having this pre-pandemic.

Timewise, a flexible working consultancy, first carried out the research in 2017, with 16% of jobs of Scottish jobs at that time being advertised as allowing this.

Co-founder Emma Stewart said the research showed that recruitment “remains completely out of kilter” with workers and workplaces as she added that bosses have to “accept the world of work has changed”.

According to Timewise, almost seven out of ten (67%) of employees already have some degree of flexibility in their work – with 70% of those asked saying they want more flexibility than they currently have.

Ms Stewart said: “We’ve experienced the biggest shake-up to working patterns in living history. This is no flash-in-the-pan affair, we’ve been working differently for almost two years.

“We’ve all seen how greater flexibility can benefit people as well as the businesses they work for.

“Yet recruitment remains completely out of kilter with what’s happening in workplaces. For anyone who wants or needs flexibility most jobs are still off limits.”

She added: “It’s time employers accept the world of work has changed. Many industries are struggling with staff shortages, candidate expectations about flex are at an all-time high and that’s before we get to mounting pressure from the Scottish and UK governments to make flexible working available from ‘day one’.

“The benefits of being able to attract key talent from a much wider pool, reduce the gender pay gap as well as reducing sickness absence and improving productivity will be well worth the effort.”

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