Nearly 40 per cent of UK workers move to flexible workplaces to improve mental health

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A new survey has highlighted the importance of flexible workplaces when it comes to the mental health of employees.

14.3% of employees not currently allowed to work flexibly indicated that they are actively considering a career move to an organisation that would offer them flexible working. This figure rises to 21% of parents in the same situation.

With 62% of employees taking days off in the past year for mental health reasons, many employers want to do more to support mental health in the workplace. Flexible working is well publicised, though employers should start by understanding why their employees want flexible working for a better work/life balance.

Selecting the personal and professional reasons for their company to start offering flexible working as a way to improve employee lifestyle, the majority of respondents stated that it would help maintain a good work-life balance. Second most prevalent reason was being reassured if an urgent situation arose, it could be resolved without affecting work, followed by feeling as sense of value and trust from the employer.

The findings of the survey highlight the importance of work/life balance and how crucial it is for employers to keep up with this demand, or risk losing staff.

The survey results show some eye-opening stats, which include the fact that 39% of the people surveyed who work flexibly see a noticeable improvement in their mental health and 70% were most grateful for flexible working as it provided them with a good work-life balance. This is something that a similar number of those without flexible working crave.

Commenting on the findings Jonny Edser, Founder and Managing Director of Wildgoose, who commissioned the survey, said: “The results from our survey highlight the real benefits that adopting flexible working can offer to both employees and employers. At Wildgoose, we understand that everyone has a life outside of work that doesn’t always fit around the typical 9-5. Trusting your employees to work at times that suit them is fundamental to maintaining productivity and employee wellbeing. If companies value the contribution their staff bring to the table, then giving them the freedom to flex their working hours is a no-brainer when it comes to keeping them.”