30% of women want flexible working choice

New data has highlighted that nearly a third of women want the flexibility to choose when they work from home or the office for wellbeing reasons.

Beauty company Avon surveyed 2,000-plus women from around the UK, with the findings revealing that more than half (55%) wish their employer offered more flexible working hours. Of these, 63% stated this would provide a better work-life balance, 56% believed it would make it easier to manage childcare or caring responsibilities, 54% wanted reduced stress and 35% were after a higher job satisfaction.

More than two-fifths (41%) of respondents have been told they must return to their workplace five days a week following the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, with 20% feeling anxious about this decision. Since 91% are unable to choose their own work pattern and just 9% are able to, nearly half (46%) are currently reconsidering their career options to allow more flexibility.

The research found that working mothers are particularly affected, with more than a third (35%) happy to take a pay cut if it meant more flexibility with working hours and around a quarter (26%) wanting to work from home full time. However, of those whose employers have made a decision about post-Coronavirus working arrangements, only 5% will be able to work entirely from home and 38% will be in the office five days a week.

Tracey Powers, head of beauty business owners at Avon, commented that the pandemic had a negative impact on everyone but particularly on women and working mums She is concerned to hear reports that Coronavirus has set the fight for gender equality back decades.

“With increased childcare responsibilities over the last year and financial strains for many, an increasing number of women are looking for new, flexible earnings opportunities that fit in with their changing lifestyle,” she said.