The vast majority of professionals expect flexible working to become the UK's dominant employment model over the course of the next few years.
That is according to new research carried out by specialist HR recruitment firm Ortus, which has found that while 90 per cent of Britons feel this will be the case, most individuals remain unaware that it is something they are legally permitted to ask for.
For instance, the study - which involved questioning 450 employees from a wide range of sectors - established that just 33 per cent of people currently know their organisation offers flexible working, even though government data shows that 91 per cent of employers do so.
It was also shown that females are much more likely than males to deem flexible working as "vital", with 16 per cent of women saying this is the case for them compared to just nine per cent of men.
Indeed, generally flexibility is not seen as a crucial workplace benefit, as even though most workers think this will become a major part of their employer's policies in the near future, just 12 per cent see it as important.
There is a widespread feeling among professionals that flexible working practices will only be implemented en masse as bosses see them as an ideal way to boost their company's productivity and efficiency, with 51 per cent of respondents stating this as their view.
By contrast, just 12 per cent said they thought flexibility would be used to help them manage how many hours they work, while only ten per cent believe the practice will be used to improve gender equality.
Stephen Menko, UK director of Ortus, said these findings show that HR departments face a challenge in attempting to persuade employees that flexible working is a positive policy to adopt.
"Widespread flexible working could be a seismic shift in the way work is conducted and it is that rare beast - a change that benefits everyone. Staff just need to be convinced of this point," he added.
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Posted by Francesca Witney