Well, we said it would happen. People wouldn’t take flexible working seriously until it became a man’s issue. And now, it seems the conversation is opening up as more and more fathers want a flexible workplace.

We just heard a wonderful piece on Women’s Hour, but it has come about as part of a call for working dads to have greater support in the workplace.

So, can all jobs be advertised as flexible?

Few jobs advertise flexibility – why?

Right now, less than 10% of jobs offer flexibility at the outset. It means many employers are missing out on top professional talent as they set out on the recruitment process. By making small changes to their view of flexible working, businesses can find exceptional people, more readily. They just need to rethink and ensure jobs advertise flexibility.

Is it impractical for everyone to offer flexibility?

The question is whether all jobs can be flexible? Well, lots of think tanks and Ten2Two say they can.  Even front-line roles like Account Managers, Operations Directors or even A&E consultants. There are so many formats for flexible working it’s still possible.  BA Naval ships on the Clyde have brought in a flexible working policy – e.g. if you get your work done by Thursday, you can have Friday off.

Here at Ten2Two, we recruit for flexible professional roles in all sorts of different businesses and sectors with a variety of different formats. From marketing to HR, to accountancy and bookkeeping, through to legal work, sales and administration. We’re also finding that more and more men are contacting us looking for flexible work.

As Deborah O’Sullivan, Managing Director at Ten2Two explains, “We recently put forward an all-male shortlist for a role based on talent available at the time of recruiting. This was a first in 11 years for our flexible recruitment agency but it doesn’t come as a surprise. It’s a sure sign that businesses have a lot to gain by offering flexibility. As our research tells us, the benefits of offering flexibility include increased productivity, talent retention, reduced absenteeism and an increase in employee engagement.”

When jobs advertise flexibility, employers can benefit from a wider talent pool that’s local and often highly motivated and experienced. What could be better than that?

Flexible working change is coming…

Sarah Jackson Chief Executive at Working Families UK says, “If you have an impossible workload, it’ll make you ill. We see this in Canary Wharf. But actually shift work can be very family friendly, as you tend to have set hours and these shifts can be organised so you can pick the kids up and so forth.”

“Fathers want increasing flexibility, they want to be involved in their children’s lives. They turn down promotions so they keep the balance they’ve got. This needs addressing. We can’t lose talent to senior roles because of a lack of flexibility.”

Sarah adds, “The workplace needs to be fixed so that it’s humane, family-friendly and doesn’t make us ill. Work takes parents away from their children. We’ve got to completely recalibrate what we expect, the balance between money and time that we’re asking people to give to their employer. The people who want this will be running companies in five years’ time anyway, so change is coming.”

Get in touch with flexible recruiter Ten2Two today

If you’d like to talk about how flexible working could benefit your business – or even how it works across different professions and different formats – we’d be happy to help. Please contact our flexible and part-time recruitment agency today.

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