A recent survey by the charity Working Families has found that more than nine in 10 working parents and carers want their workplace to retain flexible working post-coronavirus (COVID-19).

The survey, which polled the views of more than 1,000 UK parents and carers of children aged 18 and under, found that while only 65 per cent of respondents had flexible working opportunities before the pandemic, 84 per cent were now working flexibly.

Of the parents and carers surveyed who weren’t working flexibly before lockdown, the charity found that one in five (20 per cent) intend to put in a formal request to work from home more in the future, with one in 10 (11 per cent) planning to formally request changes to their working hours and patterns.

The charity’s analysis of the survey results shows that working parents and carers want to see three major shifts in flexible working for the future: more autonomy to flex their hours; more flexibility over where they work from; and a cultural shift in attitudes to flexible working.

The charity is therefore calling on the government to act on previous commitments to ensure that employers advertise jobs with flexible options as the norm wherever possible, and to help ensure they are taking a strategic, organisation-wide approach to better job design.

Working Families is also urging the government to review and strengthen the statutory Right to Request Flexible Working, including reviewing the length of time employers currently have to consider requests.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • The most common flexible working arrangements that parents and carers reported during lockdown were working more from home (63 per cent) and flexing their hours (52 per cent).
  • Almost half (48 per cent) of the parents and carers surveyed said they planned to make changes to their working patterns to work more flexibly after coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Just over one in 10 (13 per cent) of parents and carers surveyed said they would like to make changes to their working patterns but did not think it would be an option.


To read the report in full, go to: https://workingfamilies.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/June-2020-FlextheUK-survey-briefing-Covid-19-and-flexible-working.pdf