In the pursuit of having more time to spend with their families, an increasing number of working parents are requesting flexible working options from their employers, suggests new research.
Often referred to as “co-working,” a flexible workspace offers individuals and employees a productive and collaborative environment to work. Co-working has risen in popularity over the past decade and new research from flexible workspace provider, Regus, found that 85 percent of working parents would forfeit other benefits to take up flexible working, with 81 percent surveyed believing the top benefit is a better work-life balance.
The growth of flexible workspace means that people increasingly have access to these locations no matter where they are, offering users the potential to skip a long commute and work closer to home. So, what would parents do with that extra time? According to the Regus survey, the number one activity parents would spend their time on, instead of commuting, is being with family (71 percent), followed by having “me-time,” like taking a long bath or meeting friends (38 percent).
Employers should take note, as flexible working options are a top priority for employed parents. Ninety-six percent of working parents say that they would work for an employer that provides flexible working as part of a benefits package and 74 percent say they are willing to take on a different job if it offered a range of working locations.
Looking to make the switch? Regus is sharing top tips to incorporate flexible working into your current employment situation:
• Negotiate: If this option is not yet offered by your employer, negotiate. See if you can swap one benefit you may not use. For example, 85 percent of working parents reported that they are willing to work through their lunchbreak, and 85 percent would forfeit other benefits, like a company gym membership, to take up flexible working.
• Think creatively about location: Commuting isn’t only about the time spent traveling from your front door to the office. It may be better for you to be near your child’s school or daycare, or near a client, rather than your main office. Flexible working can make this shift possible.
• Banish the 9 to 5: For many parents, a 9 to 5 schedule doesn’t match that of their child. To get the most of flexible working, see if you can adapt your schedule with a late start and late finish, or early start and early finish. Or, throw the schedule out the window and focus on delivering results.
• Flex your flexible working: If you can’t make the switch to full-time flexible working, see if you can have this option available in emergencies, such as a gap in childcare or a tight schedule.
“Parents especially struggle to ensure their careers and personal lives exist in harmony,” says Michael Berretta, vice president of Network Development for IWG, the parent company of Regus. “Using flexible workspace can allow for a schedule that better fits around personal commitments, and employers can expect more working parents to ask for this option.”
To learn more visit, www.regus.com.
Working parents have a lot to juggle and finding the right balance can be a challenge, but there are more opportunities than ever to add flexibility to their schedules.