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Can working flexible hours have a negative impact on your career?

By Maureen Lynch Director of Hays Ireland

Does it have a negative impact on your career?

In short, no it doesn’t. While there are many negative perceptions, our recent research shows that improved work-life balance could have a positive impact on a professional’s productivity and make it easier to pursue their next career step.

Results from our Hays Ireland Gender Diversity Report 2017 show 75% of women believe opting for flexible working will limit their career progression. In contrast, 64% of men believe that opting to flexible working will have a greater impact on their own career and has a less harmful impact on a woman’s career, with 42% of men thinking the decision for women to work flexibly won’t have any negative impact on their career progression at all. The negative perceptions about flexible working, from both men and women is contributing to a decrease in choosing this option.

However, while men and women fear working flexibly could damage their career, the majority of professionals concur it has helped improve the representation of women in executive and leadership roles and that the implementation of flexible hours has lead to significant gender equality.

How can we overcome the negative perception of flexible working?

So why does the negative perception of flexible working continue to exist, when there are many professionals who believe it to be a highly effective tool which results in better diversity and gender equality?

Results from our Hays Ireland Gender Diversity Report 2017 identifies that the problem lies within communication and awareness. Once senior managers, executive staff and line managers are properly informed about available policies and have reviewed any negative associated perceptions, they can then help actively promote flexible working options to professionals so both genders feel comfortable to adopt flexible working, where available, whilst also progressing their career.

This communication will help to ensure that both genders can balance their careers with their home lives. Both companies and employees can benefit from the greater productivity, morale and improved company culture as a result of the increase in the uptake on flexible working.

To find out more information on flexible working in the workplace, request your copy of the Hays Ireland Gender Diversity Report 2017.

To find out more, or to discuss your recruitment needs, please contact your local consultant

About this author

Maureen joined Hays in 2000 where she specialised in Senior Accounting and Finance recruitment. With over 17 years’ experience, Maureen is the Director for Cork, Limerick and Galway along with over overseeing the Banking and Construction & Property operations in Cork. She also provides training expertise in the area of candidate screening and interviewing.

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