Men given more flexibility in working hours than women

Men are given twice as much flexibility than women when it comes to working hours, research finds.

The study, conducted by conference call service provider, Powwownow, found that on average, men work an average of six hours flexibly per week, compared to just three hours worked by women.

Less than half of women (47 per cent) are afforded the opportunity to work flexibly by their employer in an average week, while two thirds of men (66 per cent) are granted this request.

The research also finds that in addition to favourable working hours, men are also rewarded for working overtime; over half (55 per cent) are paid extra for working outside their contracted hours, compared to only a third of women (33 per cent).

But when asked to work overtime, over a third of men (35 per cent) report being ‘angry’ or ‘frustrated’; a contrasting reaction to their female counterparts, of whom half (56 per cent) express a positive reaction such as ‘motivated’ or ‘confident’.

Despite getting a better deal in the workplace, men are more inclined to take fake sick days, with a third (33 per cent) admitting they take at least one or more days off a year without good reason, in contrast to just a fifth of women (20 per cent) who take this liberty.

Jason Downes, managing director of Powwownow says, ‘It’s quite astonishing that men are granted twice as much flexibility in the workplace than women, especially as the flexible working law allowing employers to request flexible hours came into force over two years ago.

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‘From the research it is clear that attitudes towards men and women in the workplace, as well as general approaches to flexible working, still leave a lot of room for improvement; employers need to take urgent action to address this imbalance.’

He adds that, if businesses want to attract skilled talent to their workforce, these are the types of approaches that need to change. ‘Without change, people will be reluctant to join an outdated workplace and businesses will miss out on the next generation of talent required to drive the economy forward.’

Further reading on flexible working