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Working Brits tell Dolly: ‘You can keep your 9 to 5’

Evergreen star Dolly Parton wowed Glastonbury festival-goers over the weekend.

But the 67-year-old ‘9 to 5’ Country singer may have to change her tune, as new research shows that most British workers would rather work flexi hours than the traditional 9 to 5.

LogMeIn digital solutions firm commissioned the study which coincides with new laws that have now come into force to for all employees in the UK. From now on, all employees have a legal right to request flexible working hours.

Glastonbury Festival 2014 - Day 3

What do the stats find?

The report suggests that employers may not be entirely in tune with their employees’ thinking. Many of them are either unwilling to offer flexibility or are unaware of and unprepared for the new rules which came in on Monday (June 30).

It shows that:

  • only a third of Britons wish to work between 9am-5pm
  • half of employees want to begin work prior to 9am
  • while 27% of bosses anticipate staff making flexible working requests, 56% of workers are considering it
  • 40% of staff don’t get any flexible hours benefits from their boss, while only 23% are allowed to work from home or outside the office
  • 29% of employers don’t know about this week’s changes to their workers’ rights, while just 24% intend to introduce working hours that are more flexible
  • we’re turning into a nation of early birds with 64% of employees arriving at work before 9am and 48% clocking-in at 8am. Just 7% start work after 10am.

What the new laws about flexible working mean?

  • All staff who have worked a minimum of 26 weeks will have rights to ask for flexible working
  • This means both in beginning and ending work times and the having the option to work from home or not
  • The move is intended to raise staff productivity. The Government calculates that the UK economy could benefit by £475 million over the next 10 years, due to raised productivity, reduced employee turnover, lower absenteeism and even a fall in unemployment.

How will flexible working affect employers?

  • More admin/red tape: employers need to adhere to a fixed procedure if a worker makes a flexible working request – or “statutory application”. Visit the Government website on the subject https://www.gov.uk/flexible-working/overview for more details
  • The right to say no: bosses can refuse if they can set out a valid business reason against allowing flexi hours
  • Empowering staff more: management guru John Timpson claims the secret to flexible working is trust. He urges other bosses to give staff the liberty to go about their work in the fashion they feel is best. He says he asks his staff only two things when working flexibly: to make money and dress the part.
  • A happier and more loyal workforce: some people who perform better without distraction can work from home. And workers with young children will be less stressed if they can arrange working hours around childcare. Experts also believe that the better work-life balance that flexible working brings will have a beneficial effect on the amount of sickness-related absences, especially stress-related ones. The CBI estimates that fewer rigid working procedures could bring maximum workforce savings of 13%.

Image by Yui Mok/PA Wire