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Flexible Working: Why the High Demand?

Written by: Evie Courtier
Published on: 28 Oct 2022

Flexible Working

Asking for flexible working arrangements now feels like a thing of the norm. Those requesting hybrid working policies may have compelling circumstances in mind, such as disability, safety, health, environmental concerns, or financial matters; or, put simply, a desire to increase productivity and maintain a happy work-life balance. With finance and accountancy professionals demanding more flexibility in their workplace, it’s time to ask why the middle-ground looks so desirable.  

The Impact of COVID-19 on our Working Arrangements:  

Following the outbreak of the pandemic, the majority of finance and accountancy professionals were required to adjust to a new way of working; transforming living rooms into offices, and homes into places of work.  

Adjusting to the newly coined term, ‘hybrid working’; a model that offers both remote and office work, we saw a shift in companies promoting the ‘return to work’, offering a healthy balance of home/office time.  

The right to work from home certainly impacted people’s behaviours and opinions surrounding flexible working. So, why are our GAAPweb audience fans of a flexible model?  

What is Flexible Working?  

Flexible work describes a myriad of working options, compromising on where, when, at what time and how long one works for. From part-time hours to flexitime working, allowing employees to choose when to begin and end work; employees of 2022 are certainly reaching for a balance between structure and autonomy.  

Prior to Covid, we did see flexible working structures in place. Job-sharing for one, allowing two or more people to share a workload, or compressed hours, shortening the working week, reallocating work into fewer and longer blocks of time.  

The plethora of flexible options on the table may not once have appealed to a wider audience. However, since having a work-from-home taster, many workers are seeking the chance to conduct the best work of their lives, from places where they are most productive.  

The Benefits of Flexible Working: 

The appeal of flexible working stems from different directions. For those who adapted from full-time office work to a flexible model during the pandemic, it demonstrated huge cost savings and a better work-life balance by saving the hours once lost to the commute. With the need for a morning coffee being all too tempting, savings were made not just from travel, but from our caffeine fixes and lunches.  

Aside from savings on expenses and time, flexible working gives us the perfect moderation between interacting with colleagues, cementing workplace culture and boosting dopamine across the team, alongside productive ‘head down’ time. With fewer distractions at home, finance professionals can be left to their own productivity.  

Arguably, the high demand for flexible work comes down to the versatility it provides. Having the freedom to have a change of scene can induce creativity and fresh perspectives, and boost productivity. For companies offering a hybrid model, employees enjoy the structured freedom of coming together at the office for collaborations, meetings and socialising, combined with the space needed to stay on top of the game.  

Now businesses have established the technology and practices to allow employees to work remotely, could the hybrid model be the future of company success?  

The Reality of Flexible Working:  

In 2021, our audience survey revealed that 93% of respondents wished to continue working from home post-Covid, yet just 14% would want to work from home every day. This year, our salary survey, surveying over 1,400 finance and accountancy professionals, revealed that only 21% of respondents have been offered hybrid/remote/flexible working as an option. 

Such a disparity in figures demonstrates that the jury is still out when it comes to the future of financial and accountancy working patterns. With the recent volatility of the economic climate and the knowledge that our job seekers feel secure in their current roles, it will be interesting to see whether new job seekers, seek flexible working as a priority, or even deal breakers in their job search.  

Senior Financial Accountant jobs across GAAPWeb monopolise the hybrid working option, with 46.24% of jobs offering flexible working. This is swiftly followed by Financial Reporting Manager roles at 44.78% and Accounts Payable Clerk positions at 42%. With the hybrid working model infiltrating the job market, from senior to entry-level positions, will we see a conservative or proactive approach from businesses in the future?   

For more information regarding remote working, please visit the GAAPWeb career blog.