How Accountancy Offers Better Flexible Working Options

Posted on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 by Lydia SinclairNo comments

Given the growth in flexible and remote working in recent years, it might have been imagined that the number of opportunities to do so would be very large, especially after it became a matter of necessity in the pandemic.

Indeed, much of the talk of a ‘new normal’ has focused on a world in which people tend to work at home and need not come into the office, enabling more flexibility, a better work-life balance and maybe also green benefits through staff not needing to burn up carbon driving to the office.

However, it appears that remote working is not as readily available as might be expected. A survey by job consultancy Timewise has found only 26 per cent of advertised posts offer a flexible work option.

The report noted that this means people who need flexible working to be able to do a job will not even be able to apply for three quarters of roles, despite the fact that many industries are suffering from severe staff shortages.

Of course, some of these are jobs that can’t be done at home, such as HGV driving, but many are desk-based.

Speaking to the BBC, organisational psychologist at Alliance Manchester Business School Professor Sir Cary Cooper warned: "Employers that don't include their flexible working offering within their job ads are making a huge mistake,” noting that hybrid working is what people want.

However, those looking for accounting jobs in Brighton are likely to find they are in a better situation, as such jobs can be undertaken remotely more easily than most.

Not having to travel too much may be a particularly desirable thing in Brighton and Hove, where the most densely populated inner city area outside London makes commuting harder.

However, the desire for flexible working may not just be about work-life balance for those who will find it convenient. It may also be judged to have environmental benefits.

An article in The Entrepreneur listed some of these. The reduced carbon emissions from reduced commuting were an obvious benefit, but not the only one. Others listed included the fact that the digitisation involved means much less paper printing, which in turn means a reduction in the number of trees being felled.

Another benefit that some might not have thought of is that people who prepare food at home can have more eco-friendly diets with lower carbon footprints, rather than eating processed and microwaved food in a works kitchen.

Of course, the latter may depend on the choices made by staff; someone who lives next door to a takeaway may still end up buying more than their fair share of burgers, but overall, people will tend to eat more healthily this way with lots of home cooking.

It may in fact be that when it comes to offering remote working or not, some sectors will be stuck in the past, while others are more enterprising, have a lot more initiative and are more in touch with what modern workers want.

Many smaller accountancy practices will fit the latter description, with a focus on finding the right ways of working for each of their staff instead of a larger scale one-size-fits-all approach.  

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