Working 9-5: Not the way to make a living

Despite Dolly Parton's smash hit, it seems that just 6% of working people are sticking to the traditional 9-5 shift pattern, according to a recent survey by YouGov.

The study, which polled more than 4,000 adults, found that an 8-4 working day was preferred by 37% of people, followed by 7-3, which was preferred by 21%.

It seems that more people are making the switch to flexible working, so that they can juggle other commitments, or allow for a better working lifestyle around family etc. However, it appears the workplace is still catching up.

One campaigner in the headlines recently was denied her request to work flexibly for 15 minutes at the start and end of each day. The campaigner, Anna Whitehouse, said her employer had concerns it would “open the floodgates” to more requests for the same thing. Anna’s campaign, The Flex Appeal, calls for employers to consider flexible working arrangements for all and that actually, the “flood gates” should have a chance to be opened in this day and age.

Anna also advocates that there is a stronger reason behind flexible working, and that there is research to suggest it is far more productive and much better for mental health. According to the same survey by YouGov, those who did work flexibly said it improved their motivation and encouraged them to stay in a job for longer.

The Flex Appeal is all about getting employers to try it out and see if it actually changes how the workforce operates, for the better. Every employee in the UK has a right to request flexible working after 26 weeks of employment, in writing and stating the date of the request. Employers must have a reasonable business case for rejecting the request, in which case, the employee must wait 12 months before making another request.

If you have any questions relating to your own employment, or you would like some legal advice, contact Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.

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