Three-quarters of parents rate flexible working as very important

Nearly three-quarters of parents rate flexible working as very important when they are looking for a new job, according to research by, sponsored by BBC Future Media.


The survey of more than 2,000 parents also found that homeworking is the most popular form of flexible working among employers, but few employers supply equipment or technical support to staff working away from the office.

Just under two-thirds of respondents (64%) work from home for some of the week, while a quarter do so for most of the time. But just over a third (36%) said they can call on technical support from their employer. 

The research also found:

  • Almost nine out of 10 working parents have a smartphone, but only 7% have one supplied by work.
  • Just under two-thirds (62%) own a tablet, but only 3% have been given one by their employer.
  • To aid homeworking, 74% said their employer could provide them with a laptop, 17% a tablet and 9% a smartphone.
  • Just over a third (37%) feel they have a better work-life balance because technology has allowed them to work more flexibly, while 12% feel that technology means they are working all hours.
  • But around half (51%) say they see the benefits of working flexibly due to new technologies but also feel that it encroaches on family time.

Gillian Nissim, founder of, said: “The survey results are interesting because they show the clear appetite for homeworking, but also suggest the need for improvements in the services required to support that, such as technical support and a better quality of tools for enabling homeworking.

”There are also clearly concerns about how technology has affected work-life balance, and businesses need to look at ways of tackling this.”