In a survey of more than 480 women working within professional and financial services, 61% would like to work flexibly. In addition, almost 1 in 5 women would leave their role if flexible working wasn’t an option.

With a growing demand for flexible working, the findings from this research highlight a significant culture shift: presenteeism and the 24/7 corporate culture is out and a successful work-life balance is in.

So what’s changed?

It’s fair to say that previously, if asked about flexible working, many would consider the implications before accepting or requesting the opportunity.  Working flexibly carried a stigma and often triggered a certain meaning or attitude.  It was also considered a ‘woman’s issue’ and something which many would associate with childcare and looking after the family.

But with more working families than ever before and 1 in 9 working people caring[1], the need for flexible working and work-life balance has now become the norm. 

The findings from the latest Modern Families Index[2] highlight the evolving landscape too, with only 5% of parents and carers saying work is their greatest priority and more than 60% saying family.  Furthermore, 59% also say their caring responsibilities have a significant impact on their ability to work.

Employees are striving to “do it all”

From employee to mother, father, sister, brother, carer and friend, today’s employees want to do it all.  They’re wearing many hats and viewing family as equally important as work – if not more so! 

It’s not just women too. While flexible working was initially implemented to encourage more women and mothers into the workforce, today’s working dads also share the same desire to put their family life first.

The best talent

Finding the right work/life balance is high on the agenda for everyone. Employees are looking for solutions and opportunities to have it all: careers which have the flexibility to adapt to their work and family responsibilities, and employers who see their potential and plan for their future.

They’re willing to search and wait for the right one too, highlighting an opportunity for employers to hire the best talent and develop their recruitment and retention strategies.

So while we might be still hoping for the power blazer to make a comeback, it’s great to hear that corporate culture continues to evolve with the needs of today’s employees.



[1] Employers for Carers, 2016.

[2] Modern Families Index 2016. Bright Horizons and Working Families.