Study shows that UK office workers want flexible hours for better work-life balance, sleep and mental health benefits 

65% of office workers that don’t currently have options for flexible working claim that they would be more motivated and productive in their jobs if given the option to choose their working hours, according to a new poll. The study of 1,000 business professionals was commissioned for the leading coworking company, The Brew by rent24 (thebrew.co.uk) 

The poll also found that only 18% of workers at small and medium-sized businesses already have flexible working arrangements, falling to just 14% for 18-34-year olds.

When asked why they felt that choosing their own working hours would make them more motivated and productive, 65% said that it enable a better work-life balance, while 68% of 18-34-year olds and 60% of all respondents put it down to being able to work during the times of day when they naturally have the most energy and concentration to be productive. There is a genetic basis for worker’s body clocks, which is different for everyone. Employers might want to consider the productivity benefits of flexible working hours, with studies showing that ‘night owls’ (and workers who aren’t early risers) often having lower “brain connectivity”, poorer attention, slower reaction times and increased “sleepiness” when made to work a traditional 9-5 work day. 

72% of 18-24-year olds and 53% of all respondents in the study also said that flexible hours would help them get a better night’s sleep or be less tired at work.

More than 1 in 4 (27%) of respondents said that they would be more motivated and productive at work due to flexible hours as it would give them greater flexibility to manage their mental health and wellness. A further 30% said it was due to making them feel more trusted and appreciated, while 26% put it down to being able to better manage (and be less distracted by) responsibilities outside of work, such as childcare or walking the dog.

Andrew Clough, CEO, The Brew by rent24 comments: “How people want to work is changing and our survey highlights that many employers are overlooking the benefits of flexible working, such as employee motivation and productivity. Not only can it help create a better work-life balance and allow for increased feelings of being trusted and appreciated, but allowing employees to work when it suites their needs could also have a significant impact on their alertness and have important mental health and sleep benefits which in turn yield a happier and better performing workforce.”

The Brew by rent24 is one of London’s most popular coworking companies for SMEs and start-ups and facilitates flexible working solutions (including 24-hour access), regular social networking events, on-site learning and development ‘meet ups’ and opportunities for skill-sharing with regular cross-industry workshops and seminars. Set up in 2012 to provide desirable workspaces at affordable prices, The Brew by rent24 believes in fostering a sense of community and encouraging ideas sharing between businesses and working professionals.