London businesses lead the way for smarter, flexible working


London-based businesses are leading the way in smarter – flexible – working in the UK.

The research, conducted by Powwownow, found that business leaders in the capital let their staff spend the most time working out of the office during an average week – a total of 3 hours and 31 minutes, compared to the UK average of 2 hours and 34 minutes.

>See also: Flexible working is the path forward

The survey of 2,000 working professionals found that young people, many of whom are graduates with sought-after skills such as digital and cybersecurity expertise, are the most likely to consider flexible working a main attraction of a new job, with three quarters (76%) agreeing.

While young people in London (18 – 24 year olds) are the most likely to want flexible working (85%), they are the least likely to be offered it by businesses. Over half of young people (53%) are not proactively offered flexible working, compared to just a third (33%) of 35-44 year olds who also have to ask for it.

>See also: Rise in flexible working coincides with the rise of robots

Nearly two thirds (60%) of employees think that being offered flexible working would enable them to work smarter and be more productive, while over half of all people surveyed (53%) think flexible working would help positively impact their relationship with colleagues.

Those working in London have the longest commutes in the UK, at an average of 1 hour 16 minutes per journey. The quickest commutes in the UK are enjoyed by the Welsh, who take an average of 57 minutes to commute back and forth to work.

>See also: Reimagining the workplace: how the office is changing

Jason Downes, MD of conference call company Powwownow said, “Companies in the UK are beginning to wake up to the fact that the brightest British talent expects different things from their employers compared to 10 years ago – namely flexible working and being graded on output not time spent in the office.”

“With technology so readily available, there is little other than tradition in the way of offering all employees flexible working. Although London is currently reacting to this change at the fastest pace, it will no doubt only be a matter of time before the rest of the UK comes to embrace this same approach to smarter working.”


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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