If UK managers fail to heed a growing tidal wave of demand for more flexible working opportunities, they may well lose valued talent to employers who are more open to it.

This is the implication of a new study from recruitment expert Timewise. The survey found that around 8.7 million full-time workers “actually want to work flexibly right now.”

The report also found that of the 500 managers surveyed, many were open to offering flexible arrangements to potential new employees; however, crucially, they fail to make the offer explicit early enough in the appointment process – in the job ad itself.

Only 25% of the vacancy ads posted by managers over the last 12 months contained information about flexible work offerings, even though 91% of the respondents said they were willing to discuss flexibility options with candidates during the recruitment process.

Such willingness may have little effect if it remains invisible to applicants. A candidate survey conducted by Timewise last year found that over half felt nervous about enquiring about flexibility options and did not know when to raise the subject.

Timewise’s co-founder, Karen Mattison MBE, said that the world of work was changing and employers who failed to keep up with the demand for flexibility could easily lose out. She added: “Talented and skilled people are actively searching for workplaces that offer a more modern approach, where quality of performance is rated more than the pattern it took to get there.”

The demand for flexibility appears here to stay and employers who ignore this demand may prompt more people into considering independent contracting via Umbrella Companies.

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