Green conscience feeds employee flexible work wishes

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​Flexible working is the most important work benefit employees look for when considering taking a new role.

New research from O2 has found almost half (45%) of Brits think lockdown will change their company’s approach to flexible working long-term.

A third of employees said they wanted to reduce the cost of their commute by working from home, while 23% said travelling to the office was a ‘waste of time’ and 17% said they found commuting stressful.

This contradicts prime minister Boris Johnson’s call for the nation to return to work.

On average, flexible working was ranked twice as important as pension, holidays and bonuses, something HR must be aware of during the recruitment process.

If UK workers who can work remotely chose to work from home twice a week, the UK would see an annual 14.3 megatonne CO2e decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, according to O2.

This chimes with the changing priorities of employees, given nearly half (46%) of UK workers are concerned about the environmental impact of their travel to and from work, which increases to over 50% among Gen Y and Gen Z workers.

Andie Stephens, associate director at Carbon Trust, said flexible working could create a huge boost for the environment.

He said: “There is an increasing appetite to adopt new ways of working including more opportunities for flexible working which have the potential to help many companies lower their carbon impact.

“Re-imagining working patterns and behaviour in the coming months and years provides a real opportunity to accelerate decarbonisation and promote green growth.”

This echoes earlier predictions by HR directors that 70% of their workforce will have flexible working once coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

Split days off and early starts proved to be the most popular choices for a flexible working lifestyle according to research conducted in june by business consultancy Rovva.

Today (6 August) marks Cycle to Work day, with new research from the conducted by Cyclescheme finding 10% of people would cycle to work more if they were offered flexible working.

O2, ICM, YouGov and Cenex partnered to complete the research, which featured a survey of 2,019 working adults, aged 16 and over, covering all UK nations and regions between 20-27 March 2020.

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