Flexible working in the North West

The impact of covid and remote working has accelerated the normalising of flexible working. This has resulted in candidates now expecting some form of hybrid working to be offered, and not just as a perk but as a given.

Timewise found that there is still some way to go before most businesses truly embrace hybrid working, but many candidates are seeking flexible jobs and won’t apply to an advert unless it states flexible working is offered.  

Top stats

  • There are currently almost 3,000 advertised jobs on Total Jobs that offer home working and over 1,600 offering hybrid working. Reed also has over 3,000 home working jobs and over 3,100 jobs offering hybrid working.  
  • New research has discovered that 87% of office workers in the North West said hybrid working is an important factor when looking for a new job. 
  • 42% of office workers based in the North West have moved home or considered moving during the pandemic. 
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) are happy to live more than hour away from their office. 
  • Last year, a BBC poll of 50 of the UK’s largest employers collectively employing 1.1 million people, found that 43 firms planned to use a mixture of home and remote working going forward. 
  • Research found that remote working found substantial take-up in the North of England, with 29% of workers in the North East and 27% of workers in the North West working remotely in March 2021.  

The latest UK Return to the Workplace Report key findings

  • 57% of workers who go into the office at least some of the time would prefer to work hybrid in 2022, splitting their time between home and the office 
  • 38% prefer to work in-office full-time 
  • Only 5% want to work remotely all the time 
  • 61% of hybrid workers would choose Wednesday as their go-to office day, followed by Tuesday (57%). 
  • 60% are likely to change jobs within the year  
  • 76% of Gen Z (18-24) are looking to make a move within the year 
  • 30% of respondents say schedule flexibility, the freedom to choose which days to come in make workers happy and would increase employee retention. A very close second is hybrid work options (29%). 
  • Flexible work options are now just as important as traditional benefits such as matching pension and paid holiday leave or therapy and mental health days (29%). 
  • The biggest deal-breakers for returning to the office included expensive commutes, a disregard for COVID safety measures, no flexibility in work hours or days spent in the office and dealing with challenging co-workers. Only 12% had no dealbreakers.  

A CIPD report found that over two thirds of employers have found that home working has either increased productivity or that it has remained unaffected by not being office based. The CIPD has also reported that those employees without access to flexible working are around twice as likely to be dissatisfied in their job.  

To support employers with flexible working requests, CIPD have put together a guide on how to manage flexible working.  

The UK government have also published a guidelines for making flexible working the default in December 2021.  


Download the full report here. 

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