Family Friendly employment: survey results

For parents, flexible working is more valuable than salary progression or promotion.

A new survey for Mumsnet’s Family Friendly programme reveals just how strongly parents feel about flexible working - with a fifth of those who work flexibly, or who have done in the past, saying that it is 'priceless'.

Flexible working is valued more highly by employees that other workplace perks, even more important than career and salary progression. And there's good news for employers who embrace flexible working, with flexible workers having an overwhelmingly positive view of their workplaces.

However, there's still some way to go when it comes to awareness of working flexibly: 27% of people surveyed did not know that they had the right to request flexible working.

See the full survey results below


Are you currently employed or have you been employed in the past?

Answer options Response percent
Employed now 76%
Have been employed in the past 24%

 

Do you currently work flexibly?

Answer options Response percent
Yes
 50%
Not presently but I worked flexibly in a previous role 14%
No 25%
Not sure/ not stated 5%
Other 1%
N/A 6%

 

If yes, which of these flexible working arrangements do you use? If you have previously worked flexibly, please think back to your last flexible role.  (Select all that apply.)

Answer options Response percent
Part-time working
59%
Understanding with your employer that it's generally OK for you to take time out for school Appointments or other family commitments, perhaps with the time made up at other times 47%
Other non-standard clocking on/clocking off times 28%
Working from home on a regular basis 28%
Mixture of long and short days
24%
Working from home on an ad hoc basis (eg school holidays)
23%
Compressed days 11%
Being measured on performance/results rather than being given specific working hours
10%
Job sharing 8%
Annualised hours
5%
Reduced hours in the school holidays
5%
Other (please specify)/not stated
9%


Did you know that if you have been employed by the same company for 26 weeks or more, you have the right to request flexible working arrangements - and your employer needs to give a sound business reason if they want to turn down the request?

Answer options Response percent
Yes, I knew this 57%
No, I did not know this 27%
I'd heard something about it but didn't know the details 15%
Other/not stated 1%

 

Which of the following statements applies to how you think your employer approaches flexible working? (If you're not currently employed, please think about your most recent experience as an employee.)

Answer options Response percent
They're very positive about flexible working and seem to try to accommodate it wherever possible 24%
They're pretty positive about it and seem to accommodate it quite a lot of the time 33%
I don't know whether they are positive or negative 15%
They're fairly negative about it and seem to approve requests only rarely 13%
They're very negative about it and never/almost never approve requests 8%
Other 3%
N/A or not stated
4% 

Have you ever asked an employer for flexible working arrangements?

Answer options Response percent
Yes 60%
No 40%

Have you ever asked an employer for flexible working arrangements?

Answer options Response percent
My request was approved without much further ado 49%
My request was approved after some negotiation and/or compromise 38%
I haven't had an outcome yet - request still pending
1%
My request was turned down
12%

 

Thinking about your current job, or your most recent job if you're not currently employed: Please let us know what you feel about each of the flexible working possibilities listed.

Answer Options
Would really like to do
Would quite like to do
Don't feel strongly either way
Would not like to do
Would hate to do
Already do
Isn't possible because of the nature of my job
Other/not stated
Job sharing 9% 15% 22% 24% 10% 5% 10% 4%
Part-time working
25% 20% 8% 7% 2% 32% 4% 2%
Mixture of long and short days
11% 22% 21% 15% 4% 17% 9% 3%
Compressed days
10% 21% 22% 17% 3% 7% 14% 6%
Annualised hours
9% 21%
29%
12% 3% 3% 13% 10%
Other non-standard clocking on/clocking off times
14% 23% 22% 6% 2% 15% 12% 6%
Working from home on a regular basis
28% 19% 9% 6% 2% 13% 21% 2%
Working from home on an ad hoc basis (eg school holidays)
26% 22% 9% 4% 1% 13% 21% 4%
Understanding with your employer that it's generally OK for you to take time out for school Appointments or other family commitments, perhaps with the time made up at other times
39%  18% 5% 2% 1% 26% 6% 3%
Reduced hours in the school holidays
30% 22% 17% 5% 1% 8% 12% 6%
Being measured on performance/results rather than being given specific working hours
23% 19% 16% 8% 4% 10% 17% 5%


If you currently work flexibly, please say to what extent you agree or disagree with the following?

Answer options Strongly agree Somewhat agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Somewhat disagree
Strongly disagree
Don't know
I'm more likely to work extra hours or out-of-hours, compared with times when I've worked non-flexibly 46% 26%
16%
8%
3%
1%
I feel more willing to 'go the extra mile' for my employer as a result of being able to work flexibly
51% 32%
12%
4%
1%
1%
I feel I'm more productive at work as a result of being able to work flexibly 55%
29%
12%
3%
1%
1%
I feel I'm better at my job as a result of being able to work flexibly
53% 27%
15%
3%
1%
1%
Being able to work flexibly makes me feel more positively about my employer than I would otherwise 63% 26%
8%
1%
0%
1%
Being able to work flexibly makes it possible for me to do this job - I wouldn't be able to keep this role if I couldn't work flexibly 47%
25% 14% 11% 3% 1%
Being able to work flexibly makes me less inclined to move to a different employer 66% 23% 7% 2% 1% 1%
Being able to work flexibly is more important to me than salary progression 29%
32% 17% 15% 7% 1%
Being able to work flexibly is more important to me than career progression 38%
29%
14% 12% 6% 1%
Being able to work flexibly is more important to me than employee benefits (such as health insurance, gym membership and other incentives) 55% 25% 13% 3% 2% 1%
Being able to work flexibly is more important to me than bonus scheme membership 50% 24% 15% 5% 3% 4%
I would always consider an employer's attitude towards flexible working when thinking about career moves 65% 26% 6% 2% 0% 1% 


And if you currently work flexibly, or thinking about a time when you have worked flexibly, can you put a figure, in gross salary terms, on what flexibility is worth to you? (This could be real-world value, such as reduced childcare or travel costs; or notional value, in terms of the salary range you would consider for doing the same job, but non-flexibly; or a combination of the two.)

Answer options Response percent
£1-£500 per annum, pro rata
 1%
£500-£2000 per annum, pro rata
 12%
£2000-£5000 per annum, pro rata
22%
£5000-£10,000 per annum, pro rata
15%
£10,000-£25,000 per annum, pro rata
12%
£25,000+ per annum, pro rata
4%
Nothing - working flexibly has no real or notional monetary value for me
12%
Priceless - I cannot put a high enough figure on the value of flexible working
22% 


If you don't work flexibly, which of the following helps to explain why? (Select all that apply.)

Answer options Response percent
Flexible working really wouldn't fit with my job role
37%
I wouldn't be able to cope with the income cut associated with job sharing or going part-time 27%

I think it would negatively affect my career

21%
I think my co-workers would be resentful
21%
Asking for flexible working gets you marked down as a trouble-maker
17%
I'm very happy working standard hours (full time or part time)
17%
I have asked to work flexibly but my employer has said no
15%
I'd like to ask, but I haven't got the time/energy to put a request together
8% 


If you work flexibly, which level of seniority most accurately reflects your current role? (if you have worked flexibly in the past, please think back to your last flexible role.)

Answer options Don't know
Company owner/CEO/MD
2%
Director/ board level
3%
Senior management
10%
Middle management
25%
Supervisory
17%
Non management level
39%
Other (please specify)
4%

Within your current organisation, do you have role models working flexibly at a senior level?

Answer options Response percent
Yes, lots
 19%
Yes, but they're rare
24%
No
34%
Don't know 11%
N/A 13%


Thinking about your current organisation, or your most recent one if not currently employed, do you agree or disagree with each of the following?

Answer options Agree Disagree Don't know/not stated
Only very senior or long-serving staff tend to be allowed to work flexibly
 17% 57% 25%
Women are more likely to be allowed to work flexibly than men
37% 33% 30%
Women are more likely to ask to work flexibly than men
76% 9% 15%
Parents are more likely to be allowed to work flexibly than people without children 57% 22% 21%
Male bosses are more likely to grant flexible working than women 10% 41% 49%
Flexible working needs to apply to everyone - not just parents - in order to be effective
82% 6% 12%

Survey of 1128 Mumsnet users. Conducted in December 2015.



Liked this? Try these:

Mumsnet Family Friendly programme

Mumsnet Jobs: find a job to fit you

More surveys from Mumsnet


Last updated: 7 months ago