A recent analysis has reported that flexible working may be the key to closing the ‘inclusion gap’ and getting 1.3 million people into work.
Recent research completed by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) for LinkedIn, has suggested that increased flexible working could open new work opportunities for millions of caregivers or individuals with disabilities.
The research has estimated that there are around 1.3 million fewer people in these groups in work than would be expected in comparison to the rate of employment of the general population. This figure includes 600,000 people living with disabilities, 306,000 people with adult care responsibilities, 284,000 people in households with dependent children, and 104,000 individuals living in rural areas.
The research analysed the UK demographic data and also theorised that if flexible working opportunities became more available, the inclusion gap closing could lead to an extra £40bn being added to the UK economy.
Chief Executive of CERB, Nina Skero, stated that the research emphasised “the enormous potential hybrid working arrangements hold for inclusivity”
“The hybrid office model will by no means remove all the structural barriers faced by the highlighted demographic groups. Nonetheless, it does provide optimism for a more inclusive workforce,” Skero said, continuing that the responsibility was on businesses to make inclusivity “a key part of their agenda”
When discussing the analysis, CEO of PageGroup, Steve Ingram said that disabled individuals were “more than capable of fulfilling many of the same jobs as able-bodied workers” but the inflexibility of workplaces often acts as a “roadblock to accessing roles”
“The widespread move to working from home helped overcome access barriers in many cases, but companies must now challenge their hiring managers and leaders to explore options for truly flexible working,” Ingram said.
The research has been released alongside a separate YouGov poll also conducted for LinkedIn. This poll found that the pandemic has led the majority of businesses to begin to rethink their current working patterns. 86% of the 250 C-suite level executives polled, stated they are now looking to re-evaluate their flexible working.
Janine Chamberline, UK country manager at LinkedIn, believes that the pandemic has encouraged businesses of all types and sizes to re-evaluate their working patterns “As businesses continue to adapt to this new world of work, there is a huge opportunity for them to redesign workplace policies with inclusivity at the heart,” she said.
For many businesses, the pandemic years created a necessity for remote and flexible working systems, which many employers have made the decision to implement into a permanent system for the future. As the research completed by CERB has uncovered, flexible working has created a way for disabled individuals to access roles previously unavailable to them.
When you join oneHR, you gain access to our intuitive homeworking manager. This is the perfect way to effectively keep on top of remote working in your business. For admins, managers and employees viewing their leave calendar, homeworking days will be clearly marked with a helpful tag making it quick and easy to identify who is on-site and who is working remotely.
Having a tool for managing remote working will not only make managing your team easier but will also offer more flexibility for your staff, additionally, offering staff a flexible working option will open your business up to a wider range of highly skilled, remote workers who would struggle to work in the role previously.
If you would like to discuss how flexible working may help increase inclusivity in the workplace, or discuss how oneHR can help you implement a flexible working system, please contact our team here.