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Men given more 'workplace flexibility' than women

Men said they work an average of six hours per week flexibly, compared to three hours for women

Men believe they are given twice as much flexibility as women when it comes to where and when they work, according to research conducted by conference call service provider Powwownow.

It was found that men said they work an average of six hours per week flexibly, compared to just three hours worked by women.

Less than half (47%) of the women polled said they were given the opportunity to work flexibly in an average week, while two-thirds of men (66%) said that they were granted this request.

The research also found that in addition to favourable working hours men were also rewarded for working overtime. More than half (55%) said they were paid extra for working outside their contracted hours, compared with only a third of women (33%).

Jason Downes, managing director of Powwownow, suggested that the results indicate men and women are still being treated differently in the workplace. “It’s quite astonishing that men are granted twice as much flexibility in the workplace than women, especially as the flexible working law allowing employees to request flexible hours came into force more than two years ago,” he said.

“From the research it is clear that attitudes towards men and women in the workplace, as well as general approaches to flexible working, still leave a lot of room for improvement; employers need to take urgent action to address this imbalance.”

Separate research from IQTimecard’s SOHO (Small Office/Home office) Workers Report found that only 5% of British workers thought working from home had a negative effect on their productivity.

David Lynes, director of IQTimecard, suggested that some employers may not want employees to work from home because of outdated attitudes. “This concept is relatively new to many managers, bringing with it concerns over the impact this will have on their business,” he said.

“The modern workforce will expect these opportunities as standard. Employers should not be scared about the effects of working from home, but should embrace the opportunities it presents for boosting productivity, loyalty, and overall engagement within a business,” Lynes added.