How EY helped reveal the demand for flexible working

demandHere at Timewise, we’re collaborators by nature, reaching out to like-minded people and businesses whenever we can to involve them in our campaign for more flexible jobs. So when we set out to produce a definitive report about who wants to flex and why in 2017, EY were the obvious choice to partner with.

With their support, we have carried out an in-depth, detailed piece of research which proves once and for all that flexibility isn’t just a women’s issue. As the report shows, 87% of the UK’s full-time workforce are either working flexibly, or wish they could, with almost as many men (84%) as women (91%) preferring to work in this way.

And it cuts across all ages groups. Younger workers want it most, with 92% of Generation Y full-timers either working or wanting to work flexibly, but the majority of full-time workers from Generation X (88%) and even the baby boomers (72%) prefer it too. It’s official, then: flexibility is for everyone. Or at least, it should be.

An early champion of flexible working

While this sky-high demand may have come as a surprise to many, for EY it’s simply confirmed that their commitment to being a flexible employer is the right way to go. The firm were one of the trailblazers for flexible working, and they’re good at it; so much so that they’ve won awards for their investment in this way of working.

So what’s the secret of their success? Well, flexibility at EY isn’t an add-on; it’s built into their culture. They’ve adapted their workspaces, invested in technology and trained their managers to support flexible working, from entry level right up to the executive board. They’ve also backed our Power Part Time list every year since its launch in 2012, and are our partners once again for this year’s Timewise Power 50.

And, unsurprisingly, they have also committed to advertising every single role they have as open to flexibility. In fact, as EY’s COO Lynn Rattigan describes it, flexible working is ‘just the way we do business’.

Helping employees future-proof their careers

Flexibility also plays a central role in EY’s Future of Work initiative, which is designed to help current and potential employees future-proof their careers as we enter the age of disruption.  The initiative sets out the core skills and attributes that employees will need to be successful, and offers practical advice on how to develop them. For example, in the workplace of the future, the broader concept of flexibility won’t just be about when, where and how people work, but will also involve having a flexible, self-reliant mindset, something which will be increasingly important in terms of individual career progression and wellbeing.

So if you’re one of the 84% of men or 91% of women who want to work flexibly, and are interested in developing and future-proofing your skills, EY would be a great place to start looking. They regularly advertise a range of roles on our jobs board, and they also offer a Reconnect programme for people returning to work after a career break.

One thing’s for certain: the new research has lifted the lid on the demand for flexibility, and employers are listening. Watch this space.

Entries for the Timewise Power 50 2018 are now closed, but if you would like to nominate an employee or organisation who is making a success of working flexibly, keep your eyes open for the Timewise Power 50 2019 entries, which will open later in the year. 

Find out more about flexible working at EY and how it could work for you

This article has been written in association with EY, one of our Timewise partners.


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