As part of the Gender & Behavioural Insights Programme, we ran field trials and lab studies with several partners to understand how to successfully encourage flexible working to be the norm. We worked in partnership with Indeed, Zurich Insurance, John Lewis & Partners, Defence, Equipment & Support, Santander and Predictiv to test various real-world changes that would make flexible working more widely available, easy to take up and valued.
The research suggests that the following actions are effective for employers to take:
- Advertise specific flexible working options in all vacancies 💼
- Make part-time and flexible working the default ⌚
- Communicate that employees can choose the flexible working arrangements that will best work for them 👔
- Share widespread support for new flexible working patterns to encourage others to work flexibly too 💬
How many days should we work from home after COVID-19?
BIT’s biggest trial so far encourages more flexible jobs and applications
Switching the default to advertise part-time working boosts applications from women by 16%
‘Double nudge’ encourages employers to offer flexibility, in turn boosting job application rates
Flexible working and returners: What employers told us
How flexible working can improve gender equality in the workplace
Who is more likely to apply for flexible jobs - men or women?
Flexibility by default: Increasing the advertisement of part-time or job-share options
BIT partnered with the John Lewis Partnership (JLP) to test whether increasing the advertisement of part-time or job-share options would increase career progression among JLP’s part-time staff.
How many days should we work from home?
Today we launch a report detailing a randomised controlled trial (RCT) we ran with Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S). The trial set out to evaluate the impact of setting different expectations for how much employees should work from home. DE&S is a public sector organisation with 11,500 employees (66% men) and was heavily office-based prior to the pandemic.