Do Flexible Workers Do Better?

As we begin to look at flexible work practices (working flexible hours or being able to work at home when necessary), we found that 225 were full-time (21%), 237 (22%) flexi or part-time, and 597 retired (56%).  Patterns in working preferences compared to the actual working conditions of older people showed that: two-thirds (62%) of those currently working full-time are happy to do so, but a nearly a third (31%) would rather be working part-time or flexible hours, and 7% would rather not be working. Nearly three quarters (73%) of those already working part-time or flexible hours are happy with this arrangement, 17% want to stop working, and 10% wanted full-time work.

Another question we asked was whether people’s job made it “difficult to be the kind of spouse or parent I’d like to be”.  Not surprisingly, while almost two-thirds (62%) of those working full-time agreed with this, over three-quarters (77%) of those with part-time or flexible hours disagreed.

How prepared workers were for retirement also showed clear patterns:  62% of full-time workers agreed with the statement “I worry about the standard of living I will have in retirement”, while half (51%) of those working part/flexi-time agreed. Similarly, more full-time workers (66%) agreed with the statement “I worry about having enough income in retirement” than part or flexi-time workers (54%).

Most of this difference is explained by the observation that full-time workers tended to be younger (56% were between 60 & 64), while about a third of flexi/part-time workers were between 60 & 64 years of age. A large proportion of full-time workers (37%) were between 65 and 69, and around 8% were over 70 years of age. Interestingly, the research showed that 42% of flexi/part-time workers were between 65 & 69, and an impressive 25% over 75 years of age!

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