Flexible working experts, Quinyx, have released research into the UKs shift workers and found that twice as many than non-shift workers claim a lack of flexibility is having a negative impact on their health and wellbeing (14 per cent vs 7 per cent). One in five claim to have ditched personal interests and hobbies due to their work schedule.
On top of that, 20 per cent of shift workers feel their employer doesn’t care about their life and well-being outside of work, demonstrating a significant rift between shift and non-shift workers when it comes to flexible working opportunities, and health and well-being in the workplace.
The research also suggested their families are struggling with the demands too.
- One in four shift workers claim their working hours mean they don’t get to spend enough time with family
- 22 per cent of shift working parents say they feel like they’re missing out on seeing their children grow up
- One in five say they struggle to manage childcare responsibilities
It’s no surprise shift workers are struggling, 20 per cent of employees working shifts believe that their boss will react badly to requests for flexible working despite employee wellbeing becoming an increasing priority for organisations when it comes to recruitment and retention.
Nearly a third (31 per cent) of shift workers think that incentives, such as tax breaks for companies that offer greater flexibility to their employees, would be the best way to increase flexibility, with a similar amount (28 per cent) agreeing that legislation changes will be key in making flexible working more accessible.
Employee wellbeing isn’t the only reason why organisations should get onboard with flexible working, as it’s projected that the future flexible working economy will be worth £570.1 billion in 2023, as long as the UK embraces flexible working fully.
“The UK’s shift workers are the power-house of our economy, working tirelessly at all hours to ensure our businesses, shops, hotels and hospitals are running like clockwork,” comments Erik Fjellborg, CEO of Quinyx. “It’s staggering to see that despite so many changes in our offices, and access to new technology to make scheduling easier, this still hasn’t translated into equal footing for shift and non-shift workers.
“Missing out on family moments and dropping extra-curricular interests is only going to lead to miserable workers, which is ineffective from a business perspective, and disappointing from a personal one,” Erik adds. “Employers need to understand that flexible working can work for them and their workforce, and isn’t just limited to office workers in their 9-5.”