Flexible Working – Why it's not just for Mums…

Whilst flexible working has long been considered the preserve of Mums with childcare responsibilities, the facts now paint a rapidly changing picture.

Here we share a few details about the demographics of temporary workers in the UK to illustrate that many of us are now discovering flexible working often fits well with the demands of modern life. Temporary workers comprise of people who are supplied to work (as a waiter for example) through an agency like ASA, as well as independent Contractors (IT consultants), and Freelancers who are usually self-employed (photographers).

A recent major study for the Recruitment and Employment Confederation found 24% of the British population had worked in a temporary role at some point in their working life. Of those 57% were women, but 43% were men. Perhaps the most interesting findings emerged from the table below.

It shows that there has been a dramatic increase in the percentage of adults over the age of 24 who have worked as a temporary agency worker.

Why is this happening? Flexible working is a big part of the future of work. More Dads are playing a bigger role caring for their children. More people are opting for a portfolio career relying on short contract positions. The table above makes clear that workers in their 50, 60s and 70s are also finding flexible working can suit them, offering a steady income whilst leaving more time for activities outside of work. But there is another side to the story, companies are finding they need to recruit more mature workers in the face of staffing/ skills shortages and are developing methods of retaining and engaging them. Also, as our economy goes increasingly 24/7 the need for organisations to carefully match services/ production to demand means having a flexible workforce to cope with fluctuating and seasonal demand makes good business sense. So today flexible working is helping people make more of their lives and is certainly not the preserve of mums.

If you are interested in flexible working register online with ASA and one of our Consultants will be in touch to explain the many opportunities we have and seek to find you work that suits and pays!


Flex Appeal – Why freelancers, contractors and agency workers choose to work this way.
Recruitment and Employment Confederation, original research completed in summer 2014.