More than half of Brits believe that flexible working is the future, according to a new survey.
"Often staff have to travel to work in overcrowded trains or buses," the TUC said. "Allowing them the flexibility to finish either earlier or later can help, as can allowing them more frequent rest breaks."
Now a survey by office solutions company ETZ Payments suggests that 58% of Brits think flexible working is the future.
Nearly half of people who responded to the survey (43%) said that the opportunity for flexible working hours is, for them, the most important factor when choosing a job. Meanwhile, more than a third (35%) said they'd rather have flexible working options than a pay rise.
"Our research shows that for many people flexible hours is more valuable than a pay rise and that for 43% of Brits it is the most important factor for them when choosing employment," said ETZ Payments' CEO Nick Woodward. "This is especially pertinent for parents who have children to look after in during the summer holidays as childcare can be very costly."
Though many Brits believe flexible working is the future, it's definitely not the reality for everyone at the moment. Though all employees have the statutory right to ask for flexible working arrangements, more than a third of parents have said it's simply not available in their workplace.
There's also a massive gap between the proportion of parents who want to work flexibly (89%) and the number who actually do (49%).
More than one in five (22%) who responded to ETZ Payments' survey said they'd switched to working freelance from a traditional 9-5 to achieve greater flexibility and a better work-life balance – and feel happier because of it.
According to the latest figures, there are 304,000 freelancer mothers in the UK, accounting for around 15% of the total freelancer population.
Chloe Jepps, deputy head of research at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), told Refinery29 earlier this month that flexibility was the motivator for 91% of female freelancers.
"It's a much more flexible way of working," Jepps said, "whereas traditional employment doesn't allow for that level of flexibility."