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UK economy to gain £90bn boost from flexible working, says report

UK economy to gain £90bn boost from flexible working, says report

A new report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) shows flexible working could improve productivity.

The results of their survey show that 83 per cent of knowledge workers (such as engineers, doctors, and lawyers) would make use of flexible working options if they were available.

If eight out of ten of such workers adopted flexible working practices they could add 0.7 per cent of GDP to the UK economy, or £11.5 billion, with improved use of their time.

The survey of 1,272 participants was commissioned by the mobile workspace solutions company Citrix.

68% of unemployed becoming flexible workers would add £78.5bn

Almost seven out of ten people who can’t commit to a full-time job said they’d be more inclined to start working if they could do so in flexible conditions. This could potentially add another 4.7 per cent to GDP, adding up to an impressive £78.5 billion.

These findings prompted calls for a “mentality shift” in British business, where firms judge workers on the quality of their work rather than how many hours they spend at their desks.

Jacqueline de Rojas, area vice president of Citrix Northern Europe, said: “By realising that employees do not have to be in the office from nine to five, employers will reap the benefits of an even more productive, contented workforce – and as illustrated here, reaching a new, untapped pool of talent in the process.” 

A change in the organisational culture allowing workers to work from home for an average of two days per working week could also save employees £3.8 billion annually in transport costs. This would cut commuting times by 533 million hours a year.

Combining these two statistics and factoring in the value of commuters’ time, savings for workers could increase to £7.1 billion.

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