Umbrella Company Employees know a good deal about the benefits of flexible working; however, a new survey suggests that many salaried professionals have divided feelings about it.

90% of the 3,000 professionals polled by specialist HR recruiter Ortus expect flexible working to become the norm soon, but only one-tenth of them want it.

The largest proportion of respondents (40%) said they rated 25 days holiday as essential, 29% ranked a company pension scheme as vital, 24% an annual bonus scheme, 18% a free company smartphone, and 16% a company insurance scheme. Trailing in sixth position with 12% was flexible working.

Although government statistics indicate that 91% of employers now offer flexible working arrangements, the Ortus poll found that only one-third of the professionals surveyed were aware that this was an option. Most did not realise that they are entitled to ask for flexible working.

Ortus’ UK director, Stephen Menko, said that HR professionals have a challenge in persuading staff about the merits of flexible working, even though the business case – greater output, reduced office costs, efficiency savings – was clear. Currently, he observed, professional workers appear unaware about how such arrangements could benefit them too, in the form of less commuting and an improved work-life balance. He added: “Widespread flexible working could be a seismic shift in the way work is conducted and it is that rare beast – a change that benefits everyone. Staff just need to be convinced of this point, or at least have it raised on their radar as a benefit they can request.”

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