Two fifths of UK business managers reluctant to hire people who require flexible working

nic-redfern has commissioned a survey among more than 2,000 full-time workers in the UK, 750 of which were managers or directors. It has revealed businesses’ attitudes towards flexible working:

  • 59% of business managers and directors have seen an increase in employees demanding greater flexibility in their job (hours or location)
  • However, 60% have not made any changes to flexible working policies in the past year
  • Over two fifths (41%) are reluctant to hire people who require or demand flexible working:
    • This figure increases to 60% amongst managers in mid-sized businesses (100-249 employees)
  • Among full-time employees, meanwhile, 39% consider their employer to have outdated work structures and practices
    • 42% of employees do not think their employers care about their mental health

Three fifths of UK businesses have failed to update their flexible working policies to accommodate employees’ demands, new research from has revealed.

The online comparison website commissioned a study among more than 2,000 UK adults, all of whom work full-time in UK organisations and 750 of which work at management or director level.

It found that 59% of managers have seen an increase in employees demanding greater flexibility in their job (hours or location) over the past year. However, 60% of managers have not changed their flexible working policies in this period.

Indeed, 41% of managers do not believe employees perform their jobs as effectively when they work remotely. Meanwhile, almost half (49%) feel they have to regularly check in on employees not working in the office to ensure they are being productive.’s research also showed that two in five (41%) managers are reluctant to employ individuals who require or demand flexibleworking as part of their job. This figure jumps to 60% amongst managers in mid-sized enterprises (100-249 employees).

From the employee perspective, 39% of full-time workers consider their employers’ work structures and practices to be outdated, while 42% do not feel their employers care about their mental health.

Nic Redfern, Director of, said: “It’s no longer good enough to offer employees a decent salary and an impressive company name on their CV. Employers must do more to attract and retain top talent, but our research shows that many are failing in this regard.

“Today, employees yearn for a healthier work-life balance and benefits that will nurture their mental and physical health. It’s surprising, therefore, so many managers are overlooking the benefits of flexible working.

“Working with employees to develop modern flexible working practices, which recognise the needs of both the individual and the business, can bring huge benefits. Not only can this build a healthier and happier workforce, it can also improve the organisation’s productivity.”