A recent study has highlighted that female workers value inspiration, great leadership and flexible working above traditional benefits. This should come as little surprise as it is a widely held belief that women, in particular, perform better in stimulating working environments with inspiring leaders. They also tend to achieve more when they have a boss with an understanding and approachable nature who can appreciate the many different demands that are placed on them.
Obviously, men have numerous demands too. However, even in our enlightened 21st century world the responsibilities for childcare, family and life maintenance chores continue to be largely managed by women. With this is mind, it is hardly surprising that women want more flexibility to juggle their many and varied roles.
Women and Workplace Flexibility
As is so often the case, it is not about women wanting more or better working benefits than their male counterparts. It is essentially about women wanting the same opportunities to work flexibly as the results from this survey confirm.
The study, conducted by O2, discovered that more than half of women wanted more flexibility in the workplace. With 56% stating that they would like to be able to work in new ways and that their boss should make it clear that working flexibly would not adversely affect their career, and 52% saying that they wanted to feel more trusted to work remotely.
At the moment 20% more men than women have flexibility in their work patterns by adopting mobile or remote working. Nearly a third of male workers (30%) work outside of the traditional 9-5 and can adapt their work life to suit their schedules.
O2 Business Director, Ben Dowd, commented: “The digital world offers huge opportunity to suit the demands of different people in the workforce – whether through flexible working policies that empower staff to shape their own working day, to creating an inspiring workplace that breaks down barriers across teams.
A Truly Flexible Working Culture
Dowd continued: To create a truly flexible working culture, actions speak louder than words – and employers must lead by example to ensure that every member of staff feels empowered to shape their own definition of the 9 to 5.”
With the mobile devices on offer today the opportunities for remote working are greater than ever before. Employers want and need their people to be engaged, motivated and productive and flexible working is one way to achieve this.
However, one worrying revelation from the survey was that some women feel that they do not have the level of trust from their employer to work flexibly. In order to ensure success it is vital that people are trusted as reliable professionals who can get on with the job in hand wherever they are physically working. It is only by employers changing their attitudes that we can begin to move forward and adjust to the new way of working life.