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COVID-19: Jobs that offer hybrid working and flexible hours are on the rise | Business News

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Many of us are working from home right now – in fact, the government currently advises working from home if you can.

The past few years have proven that working from home – and so-called “hybrid work” – is both possible and productive.

It’s not for everyone: for many, working from home is like living at work, and in some jobs that’s impossible. However, new numbers show that it is becoming more and more popular.

Yez Ibrahim says, “I’m a better version of myself, I’m a better employee, and a better mom.”
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Research from the Employment and Employment Consortium and labor market analyst Emsi Burning Glass shows that 25% of jobs advertised in December last year mentioned hybrid or flexible work, which also includes job quotas and irregular working hours. That’s up from 19% before the pandemic.

The insurance giant Zurich is one company that has been offering flexible work in all its roles since 2019. It was originally introduced to encourage more women to apply for senior positions, which were not traditionally seen as flexible.

It’s been successful: Over the past 12 months, 23% of new female employees have worked part-time, compared to 10% in 2019. The number of applications from both men and women has increased by more than two-thirds since the initiative was launched.

One of them, Yeez Ibrahim, started last summer. She works mostly from home on a flexible and part-time basis, which allows her to spend more time with her family. After having her second child, she learned that “full-time work is no longer an option. I can no longer reconcile that.”

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She told Sky News, “It’s just a better all-round setup for me. And it works. I’m a better version of myself, I’m a better employee, and a better mother.”

“It’s just benefit after benefit really, when you look at it.”

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Omicron: Businesses take a hit

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Zurich UK is now calling on the government to change the law so that all large companies make all vacancies available part-time, job-sharing, and on a flexible basis – unless there are specific business reasons why this is not possible.

“We definitely saw very strong demand from employees and candidates,” said Steve Collinson, the company’s director of human resources.

“If we think about the fact that there are over a million job postings vacant in the UK, if there is a very strong demand from candidates for flexibility, to access things like part-time job opportunities and job sharing, if employers don’t have flexibility, then we lose the pool full of potential candidates.”

Justin Roberts, CEO and founder of Mumsnet, said this flexibility is exactly what moms have been calling for: “I think we need to recognize that flexible, hybrid working is something that women in particular have been desperately needing for years.

“What the pandemic has done has allowed us to test that, experience this, and the world hasn’t fallen into it. The thing that moms want more than work is resilience.

“There is a risk, I suppose, that as we move into some kind of more established pattern, women end up working remotely and men go back to the office. And because they are in the office, they have more influence. But I feel very strongly that it is up to employers to confront that and make time for all of their employees.”

“So it’s up to employers to work out how to make hybrid work for everyone.”

Job advertisements mentioning hybrid or flexible work are on the increase.  pic file
The switch to hybrid work was bad news for companies in city centers. pic file

Working from home has unexpected side effects, too. As people move away from offices, the city-centre companies that depended on them suffer.

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It remains to be seen whether everyone chooses to adopt the flexible or mixed working option. There will be challenges to make sure no one loses support, mentorship, or opportunities outside of the office.

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