The arrival of a new year is often a time for renewal. It’s a time for planning and making resolutions about how we’ll approach our lives differently. When it comes to the workplace, it can also be a good time to re-evaluate our careers and focus on how we can achieve our goals. So what would you do differently this year?
For the 1.5m women in the UK who want to take on more hours than they currently do, this could be the year to do it. However, the issues around getting more women into work continue to be unresolved.
We’ve heard that the UK is missing out on up to £170bn worth of economic benefits by not having enough women in employment. To match the output of countries like Sweden, more has to be done to create flexible work for women.
Taking flexible working seriously
Until more companies offer roles with part-time or flexible hours, many working mothers will find it too challenging to increase their output. The lack of affordable childcare is just one of the challenges facing parents – but it’s still very much a female issue. Around 75% of working women with children are the primary carers, so until the recent shared parental leave legislation matures and workplace attitudes change, this isn’t set to change any time soon. It’s incredibly frustrating but there is a solution, if more employers get on board with flexible working. Yet just 6% of UK job adverts include flexibility in their descriptions.
Flexible and part-time jobs for mums
Many parents’ situations alter when their children start full-time education: mums who’ve taken time out to start a family begin to turn their attention to making a return to the workplace. The predictable hours, boosted by a widening range of breakfast and after-school activities, creates more space for work. For over six million women in the UK, flexible working is the perfect solution.
And for women with professional skills and experience, flexible and part-time jobs for mums allow them to re-enter the workplace and continue their career, whilst caring for their families – a situation many didn’t think possible. But these opportunities need to be further reaching.
Arranging working hours around the school day hours, or working several full-days a week with less childcare support, makes work a viable option. Many parents in this situation also prefer to work locally, so flexible or part-time jobs for mums need to be close to home.
A very real business opportunity
There’s a clear business case for employers offering greater flexibility generally. Reducing working hours of a role cuts the salary requirement by 40% or more – and a lot can be done in 20-25 hours a week by an experienced person.
There’s also an increase in employee satisfaction, retention and business efficiency as flexibility means a closer match of hours and salary to the requirements of a job. You can also improve business effectiveness through supporting seasonal or business peaks and troughs.
Greater flexibility for everyone
This certainly isn’t about ‘doing a favour’ to working mothers who want to take on more hours and continue their careers in a rewarding and meaningful way. It’s about harnessing the wealth of experience and skills that parents can offer to an organisation to drive British businesses and the economy towards a brighter future.
Research also shows that the millennial generation expect flexibility as a natural part of their job. They can connect and work from anywhere and are demanding a greater balance between work and play. And this is catching on across the generations. And it’s why our flexible recruitment agency exists.
Here at Ten2Two, our flexible recruitment agency connects career professionals with local businesses seeking to fill part-time and flexible roles. We provide a full end-to-end service, handling every step of the recruitment process for employers whilst supporting our Members in their search for greater flexibility. We also run free professional development events such as CV writing, presentation skills, social media and networking.
If you think we can help you achieve your goals this year, please get in touch. To find out more, contact us at www.ten2two.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We wish you every success for the New Year.