No 9 to 5The Department of Trade and Industry in the UK have recently comissioned some research into working patterns in Britain. 3,000 Managers and 20,000 staff took part, 82% from the private sector and 18% from the public sector. Here are a few interesting findings…
In 2004, 64% of employers allowed their staff to go part-time. In 1998, the figure was only 46%. That is a huge rise in flexi-work patterns in such a short time, especially when you factor in the increase in other flexi-possibilities: job shares, term-time only employment, work from home options etc etc.
However, only 33% of managers believe that the company has any responsibility for creating a decent home-life balance for employees.
So why the difference in statistics?
It seems to me that the Company hierarchy, bosses, Executive Board (call it what you will) is grasping the idea that flexibility is a key factor towards recruitment and retention, fulfilment at work etc. However, Managers of day-to-day operations are struggling to hold that flexibility in creative tension with the demands of the work environment and output expectations etc.
Sarah Jackson, CEO of Working Families has rightly commented, “We broadly welcome the survey, but I don’t think we should be running around triumphantly when only one third of employers accept their staff have got a life.”
It seems that things are moving in the right direction. However, for the Connection Economy to flourish, we still have quite a long way to go in the UK.

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