A nationwide survey has revealed that Manchester employers are leading the way when it comes to flexible working, with almost three quarters (71%) of the city’s office workers saying they are offered this perk as part of their employee benefits – more than anywhere else in the country.
The survey of 1,500 office workers was been commissioned by build to rent neighbourhood operator Get Living, which provides shared workspaces for people renting homes at New Maker Yards, Middlewood Locks.
Across Manchester, workers credit flexible hours and remote working as key factors in reducing stress levels (38%) and improving the work/life balance (53%) yet more than three quarters (78%) of office workers still don’t feel they get enough rest to perform productively at work.
Given the rising awareness of mental health and wellbeing, it’s unsurprising that progressive Manchester employers are adapting their working week with over a third (35%) now allowing employees to work from home at least one day a week.
Despite this positive shift toward remote working, Manchester lags behind Nottingham (42.7%), London (41.5%), Oxford (40.8%), Edinburgh (37,9%) and Newcastle (36.4%).
The study also revealed more than a fifth (22%) of Manchester commuters will spend the equivalent of 68 additional working days a year commuting.
Looking into the money saving benefits of remote working, a third (34%) of Mancunians could save up to £1,000 annually on travel costs, if they were to work from home for just two days a week with a further 13% of commuters spending up to £1,410.*
Another big expense for Manchester office workers is their snacking habit, with 28% of the city’s workers admitting to spending around £920 a year on office snacks and coffees, so is little surprise that one of the most requested office perks is free food and snacks, with nearly a fifth (19%) of respondents wishing their employer supplied free fruit, biscuits and snacks.
Remote working (17%) and being allowed pets in the office (14%) were the second and third most requested perks, both of which have a proven impact on wellbeing.
Despite the financial and wellbeing benefits, there are factors dissuading people from remote working with the lead concern for more than half (57%) being increased distractions, followed by 41% citing loneliness and a lack of interaction as a deterrent. Over a fifth (23%) admitted to being scared about what their boss and colleagues may think.
Kim Quickfall, General Manager at New Maker Yards, Middlewood Locks, comments: “As we move away from the traditional 9 to 5, it’s great to see Manchester’s employers leading the way in cultivating flexible working environments. So that city workers living in our homes can take full advantage of this, we’ve set up communal spaces that encourage productive home working. At New Maker Yards we have consistent, superfast Wi-Fi across the neighbourhood and have provided workspaces in the club room that allow residents to separate home and work.
“Not only does this save on time and money on commuting but gives our residents the bonus of a lie-in or a power hour of cleaning, or even taking the dog for a walk along the canal on their lunch break. Just like our apartments, the resident club room is pet-friendly, has an open plan kitchen space and most importantly to Manchester’s residents, free tea, coffee and treats available.”
New Maker Yards is located within Manchester’s canalside neighbourhood Middlewood Locks M5, Salford, where a Co-op and Seven Bro7hers’ beerhouse are now open. Homes for rent at New Maker Yards are available from £970 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, £1,110 per month for a two-bed and £1,600 per month for a three-bed with no deposits.** Click here for more information and current pricing.
Get Living has established partnerships with several of Manchester’s top employers including Co-op, Deloitte and WeWork, offering special offers and upgrades for their people, including faster broadband and Sky Q.
* Annual commuter savings based on 47 weeks of the year, accounting for 25 days annual leave
** Subject to referencing