Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Do You Work Every Hour God Sends? Long Hours, Long Commutes -- That's Life for London's Highly Ambitious, Highly Educated and Highly Motivated Workforce or Is It? A Survey Shows That Employees Yearn for a Different Kind of Work-Life Balance. by Niki Chesworth

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Do You Work Every Hour God Sends? Long Hours, Long Commutes -- That's Life for London's Highly Ambitious, Highly Educated and Highly Motivated Workforce or Is It? A Survey Shows That Employees Yearn for a Different Kind of Work-Life Balance. by Niki Chesworth

Article excerpt

Byline: Niki Chesworth

DO you rush to be first in the office? Or linger a little later than everyone else so that you are the last to leave? Well, even if you don't, you probably know someone that does.

However, the way we want to work is changing. According to a survey of the London workforce, more than half of full time employees in the capital (53 per cent) wish they were working part time or remotely.

That is 1.7 million people in the capital.

Yesterday's introduction of new legislation giving everyone (well, those with at least 26 weeks' service) the right to request flexible working, not just parents of under-18s and adult carers, benefits existing employees.

However, what about those wanting to move jobs? In the past, requests to work flexibly, for example, after maternity leave, were usually made by valued employees and granted because the employer wanted to retain their skills.

NOW PART OF RECRUITMENT But there has been a shift in attitudes, and it is now acceptable to request flexible working arrangements -- including nine-day fortnights, every other Friday working from home, early or late starts -- at job interviews.

Nine in 10 managers responsible for hiring decisions are open to having people bring up the need for flexible hours in the recruitment process -- six in 10 at interview, according to figures from recruitment experts Timewise.

NOT AS ADVERTISED However, it is up to jobseekers to research what the employer is likely to agree to as only one in four job ads actually says upfront that flexible working may be considered, according to the Timewise survey. Failing to state whether flexible working options are even a possibility could mean these employers are losing out on potential talent who might not want to make the request in case it costs them the job.

CANDIDATES AFRAID TO ASK A candidate study, also conducted by Timewise, found that more than half of people looking for flexible work "feel nervous" about mentioning their need for flexibility and do not know "when to ask", with 42 per cent fearing that doing so "damages their chances of getting the job". …

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