Jump to main content
Quick send CV Upload a brief

The importance of flexible working

Room for improvement in the industry 

Employers and marketing leaders need to grasp the seriousness of offering flexibility in their workplaces. Having been discussed for a few years now, 2017 felt like the year that its impact began to be felt and candidates truly made more demands to improve their work-life balance. Given its increasing importance, for the first time we asked marketers about their flexible working habits.

66% of our respondents said they would turn down a new role without flexible working or flexitime, which increased 2% year-on-year.

Conversely, working from home isn’t the norm for marketers, with 63% still commuting to a desk every day.  And though it is comforting to see that 70% of those who care for children are afforded the adaptability they need, that still means 30% of employers don’t allow working parents’ flexible arrangements. This is mirrored by the 30% of women who would turn down a new role if flexible working or flexitime wasn’t available.  Employers are therefore reducing their talent pool by up to a third before even starting the hiring process by not offering flexible working.

A genuine attraction and retention technique

In 2017 we witnessed flexible working becoming a key tactic in negotiations. Seeking a better work-life balance was one of the reasons 16% of our candidates cited for leaving their last position. In most sectors this year we have spoken to employers who are focussing on employee benefits that improve work-life balance to enhance their employer value proposition (EVP), and flexible working is fundamental to this. 

In some industries, such as Financial Services, we have seen flexibility be one of the key differences between larger, more mature brands and more the more agile, start-ups in sub-sectors such as fintech or proptech.  As such we have seen more part-time roles and home working options, for example, as companies recognise the need to retain and attract talent, especially working mothers.  


The benefits of flexible working 

The official Government definition of flexible working states that, “flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs, e.g. having flexible start and finish times, or working from home.” It also stipulates that all employees, not just parents and carers, have a legal right to request flexible working of their employer.

Although it does tend to be older employees who have families that require flexible working, our research found that over half of marketers in their 20s consider flexible working or flexitime vital when considering a new role. Many younger workers expect to be able to adopt a more flexible approach to work as they’re used to being ‘always on’ digitally. But it has taken a while for organisations to catch up. 

Research has shown that flexible working policies can improve staff engagement, motivation and therefore productivity. Employees know that they no longer have to be seen in the office at all times in order to be productive. An environment that lets them prove it will ultimately retain them for longer. 

How to make flexible working work for you

From an employer perspective, technology is an essential enabler for working flexibly. It could be one of the reasons why 62% of our respondents consider the provision of a device such as a smartphone, laptop or tablet essential when looking for a new job. Investigate ways you can encourage remote working if your companies’ tech isn’t up to scratch. For example, do your employees need to access shared drives, or can you save documents in the cloud? Conference calls and webex’s can replace face-to-face meetings. 

If flexible working is a particular feature at your company, then include it in your job specification. Values such as this included in the opening statement of a job advert are far more likely to attract a range of top talent for your consideration.  

And for candidates, no matter why flexible working is important to you, remember that you have the right to request it at your current organisation. When looking for a new role, highlight it to your recruiter at the start. And similarly, remember that interviews are a two-way street. Take the opportunity to ask what flexible working arrangements are on offer elsewhere in the company. 

Download our Hybrid Working Report 2021 here.  

List #1

Related posts

The Digital Transformation of Professional Services

Teaser

Discipline expertise

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

04/02/2024

Summary

The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way businesses operate and reshaped clients' expectations, emphasising the importance of agility, efficiency, and digital fluency in service delivery. At

Teaser

Read more
The Digital-First Revolution: How D2C Businesses are Shifting to Owned Channels

Teaser

Discipline expertise

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

03/08/2024

Summary

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands have been at the forefront of digital-first innovation in marketing. Traditionally, these brands relied heavily on third-party retailers and marketplaces to reach consu

Teaser

Read more
Rebekah Cramp

by

Rebekah Cramp

Rebekah Cramp

by

Rebekah Cramp

Marketing and Communications Leader Series ep.5: Jen Barham

Teaser

Career advice

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

01/17/2024

Summary

Welcome back to EMR's Marketing & Communications Leader Series, where we dive deep into the journeys of exceptional senior marketing and communications practitioners. Join us as we take a closer look

Teaser

In this episode, EMR's MD Tom Brockton interviews Jen Barham, Group Chief Marketing & Corporate Responsibility Officer at DC Advisory. Tune in to hear more about Jen's journey and insights.

Read more
5 ways to boost your communications career in 2024

Teaser

Career advice

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

01/12/2024

Summary

There has never been a better time to launch or boost a career in communications. 2022 was an excellent year to invest in communications, and in 2024, it’s even more vital as people want to feel conn

Teaser

There has never been a better time to launch or boost a career in communications. 2022 was an excellent year to invest in communications, and in 2024 it’s even more vital as people want to feel connected to a company.

Read more
Marketing and Communications Leader Series ep.4: Dominic Elliott

Teaser

Career advice

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

01/03/2024

Summary

Welcome back to EMR's Marketing and Communications Leader Series, where we dive deep into the journeys of exceptional senior marketing and communications practitioners. Join us as we explore their pat

Teaser

In this episode, EMR's MD Tom Brockton interviews Dominic Elliott, former Head of Communications, Asset Management and ESG at Credit Suisse (currently Group Head of External Relations at Holcim).

Read more
Marketing & Communications Leader Series ep.3: Noreen Biddle Shah

Teaser

Career advice

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

11/28/2023

Summary

Welcome back to EMR's Marketing and Communications Leader Series, where we dive deep into the journeys of exceptional senior marketing and communication practitioners. Join us as we take a closer l

Teaser

In this episode, EMR's MD Tom Brockton interviews Noreen Biddle Shah, former Head of Marketing & Communications at Numis, who recently joined Carne Group as their CMCO. Find out more about Noreen's path to success.

Read more
Survey on a computer and people
Pay Survey 2024

Teaser

Salary & Market Trend Guide

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

11/23/2023

Summary

Our Pay Survey 2024 is your opportunity to share your experience of pay and packages within your current sector and the wider industry and join thousands of professionals who contribute to our researc

Teaser

Our Pay Survey 2024 is your opportunity to share your experience of pay and packages within your current sector and the wider industry and join thousands of professionals who contribute to our research every year.

Read more
Falls in charitable donations create new challenges for marketing professionals

Teaser

Industry news

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

11/20/2023

Summary

Recently the charity sector has found itself facing unprecedented challenges influenced by the cost of living crisis. Donations have taken a big hit, making it essential for charities to cut costs whi

Teaser

Recently the charity sector has found itself facing unprecedented challenges influenced by the cost of living crisis. Donations have taken a big hit, making it essential for charities to cut costs while also maintaining high-performing marketing teams to maximize their efficiency.

Read more
Marketing & Communications Leader Series ep.2: Emma Hill

Teaser

Discipline expertise

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

11/13/2023

Summary

Welcome back to EMR's Marketing and Communications Leader Series, where we dive deep into the journeys of exceptional senior marketing and communication practitioners. Join us as we take a closer lo

Teaser

In this episode of the Marketing & Communications Leader Series, EMR's MD Tom Brockton interviews Emma Hill, Group Brand and Marketing Director at Cardano. Tune in to hear more about Emma's career journey and insights.

Read more
The real cost of a contractor – not just the numbers!

Teaser

Hiring advice

Content Type

Articles

Publish date

11/13/2023

Summary

When it comes to hiring, many businesses will often default to permanent hires without even considering the option of bringing in a contractor. However, this can be a costly oversight. Whether a contr

Teaser

When it comes to hiring, many businesses will often default to permanent hires without even considering the option of bringing in a contractor. However, this can be a costly oversight.

Read more
Sam Brimble

by

Sam Brimble

Sam Brimble

by

Sam Brimble

View more