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15 January 2013

The much valued benefit of flexible working is now being used to attract employees, with over two thirds (64%) of employers saying it helps staff engagement and motivation, while 23% said it helped to keep staff who would otherwise leave, according to a recent survey from Hays, the leading recruiting experts.

Of the 69% of employers who offered flexible working options to their workforce, the choices ranged from flexitime (66%), reduced hours (54%) and working from home (50%). Over three quarters (78%) of employees said they did not have a working from home option. However, of those who did over half (58%) said they were more productive working from home. Despite the advantages of working home, employees said they missed contact with colleagues and loss of visibility in the office.

Pam Lindsay-Dunn, Regional Managing Director at Hays, says ‘There has been a clear shift in employer attitudes to flexible working over the last few years and they are now actively using this as a tool to motivate and engage their workforce in the absence of pay increases. Despite this new focus, our survey found that over a third (36%) of employers had not adapted their management training to provide additional support to managers who have people working flexibly in their teams. Clear guidelines are needed to ensure that change in working patterns work for both parties. Employees must follow the same rules as those working in an office, including treating company information as confidential and keeping equipment and data safe. It is also worth bearing in mind that not everyone will function well working alone and companies should have policies in place to deal with this.”

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About the survey

The Hays Flexible workforce survey received over 590 responses from jobseekers and 335 responses from employers in the UK between the 15th October and 7th November 2012.

About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2012 the Group employed 7,800 staff operating from 245 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2012:

– the Group reported net fees of £734 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £128 million;
– the Group placed around 55,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 182,000 people into temporary assignments;
– 33% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 36% in Continental Europe & RoW (CERoW) and 31% in the United Kingdom & Ireland;
– the temporary placement business represented 56% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 44% of net fees;
– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA

For further press information please contact:
Deepa Bose
T. 020 7200 3760