Quarter of Britons would take a pay cut for fewer hours - but businesses are worried it will harm productivity and be a logistical nightmare

Catherine Neilan
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You might like more time to be with your family - but businesses can't get their head around it (Source: Getty)

Daily grind getting to you? You're not alone. Nearly a quarter of British workers would be willing to take a pay cut in return for fewer working hours.

​A new report from Scottish Widows’ think tank, the Centre for the Modern Family, found that 23 per cent of would be happy with a smaller pay packet if it meant we got to spend more time out of the office.

But the research also suggested it's not going to happen any time soon.

Half of medium businesses also said they would not consider offering part-time working from home, compared with 16 per cent of "enterprise" sized firms and 22 per cent of large businesses, citing logistics and productivity concerns.

And while employers feel positive about introducing flexible working policies – with two thirds (65 per cent) acknowledging that they increase productivity and wellbeing in the workforce - not enough are actually doing it.

Just over half (51 per cent) give mothers with young children the opportunity to work flexibly, but fathers receive less support (35 per cent), while older workers (26 per cent) and others who may have caring or volunteering duties (34 per cent) had even less.

The study found that medium-sized businesses struggle the most – with almost a quarter (23 per cent) saying they do what is legally required of them in terms of flexibility for families, but not any more than this for other employees.

Almost three quarters of medium-sized businesses (72 per cent) would never consider offering full-time working from home, compared to half (51 per cent) of micro and two-fifths (40 per cent) of enterprise businesses.

Anita Frew, chair of the Centre for the Modern Family, said: “"Our economy depends on a skilled and motivated workforce that functions productively – and our best hope of achieving this is through encouraging employers to adapt to the evolving needs of the workforce.

"Targeted support is essential to help employers understand the benefits for their business, but practical support is crucial in order to navigate the complex challenges around the implementation of more flexible initiatives and practices.”

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