Workplace flexibility: The impact on working parents and your employer brand

Workplace flexibility: The impact on working parents and your employer brand

23 August 2023

A big knock-on effect of the pandemic was the shifting of more women working full-time rather than part-time hours due to the flexibility Covid-19 brought to the workplace. Recently, we have seen an increase in businesses tightening down on their flexibility and we’re curious to understand what effect this will have on working parents, and in turn, the reputation of companies when potentially clamping down on workplace flexibility.

As we know, employer branding is one of the most influential business assets and positive employer branding is where you will see the most success when aiming to be an employer of choice. Understanding the importance of providing a flexible working environment and the impact this has on working parents, especially women is crucial.

According to analysis from Bloomberg, backtracking on flexibility is a deterrent for women investing more hours in work or transitioning from part-time to full-time jobs.  The hours worked per woman have risen by almost 5% compared to pre-pandemic levels, this increase in hours worked, enabled by shared childcare arrangements and caring responsibilities, has eased the pressure slightly on a labour market struggling with a shortage of workers.

The numbers really do speak volumes: a loss of 4,000 childcare providers from 2021 to 2022 as well as 5,000 nurseries closing their doors so far this year. And yet this isn’t just about women. Shocking Trades Union Congress (The TUC) research shows that 50% of new fathers and partners eligible for paternity leave face rejection when they request flexible work – those earning below £40,000 face even steeper odds.

Research from Sage Solutions also shows that flexible workers have a higher level of job satisfaction and commitment and are more likely to increase discretionary effort compared to those who don’t work flexibly.

It’s pretty clear; the future is hybrid.

If you want the best-suited people working for you, and working for you happily, grasping the needs of flexible working is critical. Employee engagement is the key to your business’s success. Providing a positive and balanced workplace will result in your employees being engaged, this doesn’t only improve your employer brand but according to Gallup, will result in 10% higher customer ratings and 18% higher revenue.

Read more on the importance of employer branding and employee engagement here.

If you would like any further advice on the importance of flexible working and promoting this through your employer brand, please get in touch – our team will be more than happy to help.