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Flexible working © iStock
Flexible working on the rise © iStock

09 August 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal

The number of people working ‘flexible hours’ has increased five-fold in the last two decades, according to an analysis of working trends by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).


In the 1999 Labour Force Survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics, the percentage of people working flexible hours in the UK was 9.5 per cent at that time. 

Recent statistics from Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, however, show that this number has drastically increased, with 54 per cent of workers currently having the option to operate outside of typical nine-to-five office hours.

Despite this huge development in improving work-life balance, professionals still want more autonomy. The 2019 UK Working Lives Report reveals that two in three professionals (68 per cent) would like to work flexibly in a way that is not currently available. 

Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo, said: “Flexible working also plays an important role in bringing equality to the workplace. People with disabilities or caring responsibilities, for example, are often unable to commute to the office or work conventional hours, therefore the option to work part-time, compressed hours or remotely is a necessity. As more employers begin to see the opportunities associated with flexible working, we can both boost diversity and inclusion, and help end the dire skills shortages which are impacting many sectors.”