This interim report outlines findings from the first wave of a survey of UK employers jointly designed by the CBI and Cranfield School of Management.
The survey explored whether and how the COVID-19 pandemic and the use of the flexible furlough scheme changed employer attitudes towards part-time working and other forms of flexible working.
Key findings from the interim report:
- A sizeable proportion of employers expect part-time working and other forms of flexible working to increase. Almost half of survey respondents expected part-time working to increase over the next two years, while more than half expected remote working and flexibility of hours to increase.
- The use of the flexible furlough scheme had a positive impact on perceptions of part-time working. 60% of line managers in the sample said that they were more willing to consider employees’ requests for part-time working as a result of using the flexible furlough scheme.
- Perceptions of trends in worker demand for part-time working were mixed, perhaps reflecting the differing impact of the pandemic on different sections of the working population. While some employers thought that the pandemic had increased the number of workers wanting to work fewer hours, there was a simultaneous perception that workers who could save commuting time through working from home might be less likely to want to work part-time.
- There is increased openness towards other forms of flexible working. 96% of line managers in the sample agreed that they had become more flexible about employees’ location of work, while 87% also agreed that they had become more flexible about how employees schedule their working hours.