Eight out of ten millennials don’t work flexible from home, for fear of facing criticism from their bosses.
New research from global recruitment specialist, Michael Page, has revealed that 84 per cent of office-based millennial employees do not work from home in an average working week – with 82 per cent of those saying they are not able or allowed to.
The findings come despite 76 per cent of UK office workers confirming that their employer does offer flexible working remains largely out of reach.
Six out of ten millennials who have worked, or have asked to work, flexibly have felt judged or penalised for doing so. Of these, just under half have felt judged by company management or senior leadership.
The research, conducted among over 1,000 UK office workers, has brought in to question the reality of flexible working across the UK, especially for young professionals.
The findings follow recent reports that show the UK is falling behind in the global drive for flexible working.
Younger workers feel that flexible working is less of a right – as outlined by the Government in 2014 – and more of a ‘selective benefit’ for a choice group of employees.
Two thirds of millennials believe employees with families are more encouraged to work flexibly than their single colleagues, and 60 per cent said the same applies to senior co-workers. Nearly half of those surveyed felt that flexible working is a benefit reserved for management and senior leadership only.
Speaking about the research, Oliver Watson, Executive Board Director for UK and North America at PageGroup said, “There is a clear and increasing demand for flexible working options among UK employees, especially from the newest generation of workers.”
“As this ‘Generation FL-X’ continues to enter the workplace, businesses must prioritise accommodating the expectations of all employees, and challenge the old school stigma that still appears to prevail.”
“Placing restrictions on flexible working – encouraging or excluding certain employees – is counter-intuitive.”
“Truly flexible working should be open to all, indiscriminate of age, gender, seniority or role.”
Watson continued, “For flexible working to really move forward in the UK, employers must shift their thinking from presenteeism to productivity.”
“By empowering employees to take charge of their productivity – something 46 per cent of respondents called out as a benefit of flexible working – businesses will not only be rewarded with increased employee loyalty, but a much more efficient workforce and a high trust, high performance culture.”