NEARLY 60% of office workers believe that requests to work more flexibly could have a negative impact on their career prospects, and most don’t feel they are entitled to it, according to new research.
They also fear asking for flexible working hours demonstrates an unwillingness to work alongside others or of being too laid back, according to the organisers of the research, Inter-Tel.
The majority of respondents do not feel that flexible working was necessarily a right they should be entitled to, with 82% considering it to be a privilege.
Just 18% believed it should be one of their employee rights. However, 90% agreed that all employees, irrespective of their domestic or parenting situation, should have the same rights to apply for a more flexible working life.
But 30% said that the decision was not equal within their organisation.
Inter-Tel manager Duncan Miller said: “The trend for home working continues to increase.
“There are now more than two million people working from home and a further eight million opting to spend at least part of their working week outside the office.
“Clearly, there are still issues to be overcome and an education process needs to take place so that everyone knows what their rights are and ways in which they can improve their work/life balance.”
When asked about the most important reason for applying to work flexibly, more than two-thirds said it would be their desire for a better quality of life, while 22% said it would be to spend time with family.
A further 6% thought that flexible working would mean they could enrol in more non-work related activities such as educational courses, while 3% cited a desire to enjoy long weekends for travel.