Flexible working has a ‘tremendously positive impact’ on Scottish workers


New ways of working are becoming the norm, and more than half of Scots (54%) are now working from home and in hybrid roles.

The Third Annual Meeting of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Active life in Scotland reveals that more than three-quarters of Scots (76%) who work flexibly say it has had a positive impact on their quality of life.

Those who work flexibly are also more likely to be satisfied with their jobs, report better relationships with their managers, and higher levels of job autonomy.

The CIPD commissioned YouGov to survey 6,262 workers – including 1,035 in Scotland – between January and March.

The report shows that many of those who worked full-time from home during the pandemic have now switched to hybrid working, with 15% of employees in Scotland working entirely from home and 39% working under a hybrid model – the majority of these workers work from home 50% or more of their time.

However, 31% of Scots work in jobs that cannot be done from home – for example those in lower paid jobs in care, leisure and other services – and a further 14% say they don’t want to work at all home.

The CIPD warns that organizations should consider offering a variety of forms of flexible working, to ensure they can retain employees in a tough job market and to ensure fairness by allowing everyone to enjoy the benefits. that flexible working offers.

The report also highlights some of the disadvantages of flexible working.

Scottish hybrid workers struggle the most to balance work and private life, with commuting time having a significant impact. Additionally, the report finds that 61% of employees report levels of overwork and 14% report working 15 more hours per week than they would like.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Only 35% of those earning less than £20,000 a year say they can meet their bills and credit commitments without any difficulty.
  • 29% of employees believe that their work has a negative impact on their mental health, with 24% reporting negative impacts on their physical health.
  • 34% of employees believe that their job offers good career development prospects, while 55% believe that their job offers good opportunities to develop their skills.
  • 34% of all employees in Scotland say their workload is too heavy in a normal week, with even worse figures for key workers and senior managers.
  • Public sector employees are more likely to feel they have meaningful jobs, and those who feel they are doing meaningful work are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs.

Lee Ann Panglea, Head of CIPD Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “We are at the heart of the transition to a post-pandemic workplace, with new ways of working now integrating into our working lives. .

“Organizations really need to look at job design and consider how other forms of flexible working such as flextime, job sharing and reduced hours might work for those whose work cannot be done remotely. residence.”

Marek Zemanik, CIPD Scotland’s senior public policy adviser, who authored the report, said: “On many fair work measures, we are seeing a return to pre-pandemic findings, but with employers facing skills challenges and labor shortages. and rising costs, and many employees worried about the cost of living, we are all facing some very difficult times in the coming year.

“Responsible organizations also need to look more broadly at how they can improve work to support the well-being of their workers, which will in turn lead to more productive organizations and ultimately a stronger economy.”

Separately, more than half of Scottish employers (53%) have seen an increase in hybrid working among staff compared to before the pandemic, according to a survey by the Advice, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas).

It commissioned YouGov to survey 1,074 adults – including 75 Scottish – in early April, asking Scottish businesses about changes in working practices they have seen compared to before the pandemic.

The poll found that more than two-fifths of Scottish employers (43%) have seen an increase in staff working from home full-time.

Acas Deputy Director for Scotland, Ian Proctor, said: “The pandemic has been a turbulent time for businesses in Scotland and many have had to explore new ways of working.

“Some employees will also prefer not to work from home or find it inconvenient, so companies should explore solutions that work for all employees and ensure no one is disadvantaged.”

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