Rising number of city professionals will take a pay cut to work flexibly – Hays research

Close to half (41%) of City professionals would take a pay cut for more flexible working options

  • City employers look set to adopt more modern working practices as 80% of employers recognise the importance of flexible working when attracting talent
  • Over a quarter (26%) of professionals will prioritise flexible working when looking for a new role
  • Women more willing to take a pay cut for flexible working than men

A growing number of City professionals are willing to take a pay cut for more flexible options as many focus on achieving a better work-life balance according to new research by leading recruiting expert, Hays Financial Markets.

The Hays Financial Markets Rewards Report 2018, based on a survey of over 650 employers and employees in financial markets, showed that pressure on salaries in the city remains high as over two fifths of employers have lost out of candidates in the last year because their salary and benefits package was not competitive enough.

However, close to half (41%) of professionals working in financial markets said they would take a lower salary to accommodate a better work-life balance, compared to 38% who said this in 2017 and 29% in 2016. The research also reveals that women are more willing than men to take a pay cut for more flexible working at 45% compared to 38%. When searching for a new role, over a quarter of City staff will prioritise flexible working with home or remote working (81%) and flexi-time (48%) cited as the most desired options. In a clear shift of importance, home and remote working has seen a significant increase in popularity, rising from 69% in 2016. Compressed hours (17%) and part time hours (11%) were also popular options.

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Positively, as employees desire to strike a better balance between home and work, the majority of employers are increasingly aware of the importance of flexible working.

Four out of five employers (80%) believe flexible working is important for attracting new talent compared to just under three quarters (74%) last year. Employers are also recognising the value of flexible working in retaining talent, as over half of employers (55%) think flexible working helps with both attraction and retention of talent, an increase from 36% last year.

Employee satisfaction with the flexible working options available is also improving, and just 28% of employees were not happy with the flexible working options on offer, compared to 35% last year. Almost one in five (18%) said that the flexible working on offer exceeded their expectations. However, women were slightly more likely than men to report the flexible options do not meet expectations, at 32%.

Tom Hawkins, Director of Hays Financial Markets, commented: “As over two-fifths of employers tell us they have lost out on candidates because of their salary or benefits packages, employers need to review their overall offering to take into account the importance professionals in the City are placing on flexible working.

It’s encouraging to see that more employers are aware of the benefits flexible working can have towards both attracting and retaining staff, and in order to keep up this momentum employers should review how they are communicating flexible working options to current and perspective staff to encourage awareness.”

For further information visit hays.co.uk/city-rewards

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