Fake flex: The truth behind flexible working during a pandemic

Flexible working campaigner Anna Whitehouse sends out a warning on the realities of ‘fake flex’ remote working

Flexible working can be long-term, says Flex Appeal founder Anna Whitehouse in her new study- the ‘Forever Flex: Making Flexible Working Work Beyond a Crisis’.

The report sounds the alarm on ‘fake flex’ (pandemic-forced flexible working) while outlining how businesses can move to true flex even in the pandemic; and change the way people work for good.

Campaigner, best-selling author and entrepreneur, Whitehouse, said: “Employers need to be aware of ‘fake flex’.

“What we have now might look like flex, but people are working at home in a global crisis without any benefits; improved mental health, a better work/life balance or the ability to care for others.

“We want to create a lasting shift where flexible working isn’t a bonus or something you’re expected to earn – it is simply the norm.

“Thanks to the backing of Sir Robert McAlpine and the report, we have been able to show how companies are doing that and will continue. It’s the future, and there is no better time than now to implement it.”

Whitehouse set up Flex Appeal in 2015 after her flexible work request at her previous employer was denied for fear it would ‘open the floodgates’. The next day, she quit her job and has been campaigning for flexible working to become the norm across all employment sectors in the UK. Not just for parents, but for everyone who wants to work and live a little bit better.

Paul Hamer, CEO of Sir Robert McAlpine, says: “The Forever Flex report is an essential and practical guide to exploring true flexible working that everyone should read. I am proud that Sir Robert McAlpine has played a part in its production, and I hope it will be beneficial to employers and individuals alike, for the months to come.

“Of course, like many organisations across the country, we don’t have all the answers yet and are on our journey to introduce flexible working for everyone, because everyone has the right to a healthy work-life balance. This is the foundation for anyone to prosper in their professional environment and be happy in their personal life.

“If it can have a positive impact on mental health and help us reverse the alarming trend of male suicides in construction, then I am 100% committed to supporting it. I believe that offering everyone a working environment in which they can thrive and be their best through flexible working can help pave the way to greater inclusion, diversity and the much-needed reduction of the gender pay gap.”

Rate This: