Nearly half of all UK women are currently reconsidering their career options to allow more flexibility, according to new research, shared with City A.M.
Over the last 16 months, the pandemic has changed routines and the way people work, however with the UK now given the go-ahead to return to the office from mid-July, it seems revised employer post-pandemic working policies still do not offer many women the flexibility they require.
In fact, 91 per cent of employed women cannot choose their own work pattern and only 9 per cent say they can, according to data from beauty company Avon.
The research, which surveyed over 2,000 women from around the UK, finds over half (55 per cent) of women in the UK wish their employer offered more flexible working hours, with the top benefits including providing a better work/life balance (63 per cent), making it easier to manage childcare or caring responsibilities (56 per cent), reduced stress (54 per cent) and higher job satisfaction (35 per cent).
Working mothers are particularly affected, with over a third (35 per cent) going as far as to say they would be happy to take a pay cut if it meant more flexibility with working hours, demonstrating the real desire for change.
Over a quarter (26 per cent) of mothers say their ideal would be being able to work from home full time – however, of those whose employers have made a decision about post-covid working arrangements, only 5% will be able to work entirely from home and a huge 38 per cent will be working in their office five days a week.
The research finds that over half (56 per cent) of women agree they would rather work for themselves if it meant they could get more flexibility.
A sign that perhaps more women are keen to earn on their own terms, is that a quarter (25 per cent) set up a passion project during the pandemic. Projects which came out top include building an online retail business (24 per cent), tutoring or teaching (15 per cent) or blogging/vlogging (15 per cent).