Take a look around you. You might have noticed them but never really seen them.
The lost sea of mums.
Everywhere I go, I meet mums who are stuck on the outside, with their noses pressed up to the window of work, wondering how on earth they can get back in.
But there’s one way to smash that window and have them leaping back in. And that’s through flexible work. But here’s what’s stopping them –
7 in 10 UK employees want flexible work but over half fear it would be viewed negatively by their employer if they asked for it.
Yup, according to a new report from social media training experts Digital Mums, 7 in 10 (68%) UK employees would like to have flexible working hours but only 12% have asked their current employer for it…
We’re three years on from the introduction of laws by the Government to allow everyone the legal right to request flexible working, yet still, we find ourselves stuck behind the same window…despite the fact the benefits of flexible working can be reaped both by employer and employee. What does this mean?
I’m banking on the fact that it points to one thing and one thing only – this law might be well meaning, but just simply isn’t working given that over half (51%) of UK employees believe that asking for flexible working hours would be viewed negatively by their employer and a further 42% thin it would have a negative impact on their career.
There’s still a fear in the air.
This fear factor is most significant amongst millennials*, with two-fifths (40%) saying they’d be too nervous or worried to ask for flexible working hours despite 8 in 10 (77%) wanting this way of working.
But so long as this fear prevails, the UK economy is going to be losing out on some of the best talent – the talent WE have to offer. But why has flexible work become such a dirty word? After all, esearch commissioned as part of Digital Mums’ #WorkThatWorks Movement shows that 6 in 10 (61%) UK workers said they would be more productive if they could work flexibly and over two thirds (67%) said they would be more loyal to a business.
So what to we need to do?
Quite simply, we need to ‘Clean Up The F-Word’.
And you can do that by signing this petition to change the Government’s current definition of flexible working from something that focuses solely on ‘a way of working that suits an employee’s needs’ to ‘work that works for employees and businesses’.
But this isn’t just about getting mums back into the workplace, as important as that is. It’s about so much more than that. According to Kathryn Tyler, co-founder Digital Mums which is behind this fantastic movement, : “We need employers to wake up to fact that flexible working is about attracting and retaining a generation of workers who are being failed by a rigid and restrictive ‘9 to 5 coat-on-chair’ culture. That’s why we’re calling on everyone to sign our petition to change the Government’s definition so we can clean up the F-word and change the way we work forever.”
To voice your support and make a change, visit change.org here
Or to be further inspired watch the campaign video here: