Released On 10 October 2019
Cityparents Annual Members Survey 2019 – What Did You Tell Us?
Each summer we ask you, our members, to answer a survey about your experience of working in the City and balancing your career ambitions with your home life. We are so grateful to all of you who take the time to respond, as it gives us a clear picture of the progress in the City, where the successes are and where work is needed.
This year, we drew 8 key conclusions from your responses, which are:
1. Acceptance of flexible work is limited by corporate mistrust and outdated attitudes
2. People feel more productive when working from home, not less
3. Defining productivity is key
4. Good technology and positive digital habits are equally vital
5. City progression and development opportunities strongly favour those who ‘fit the mould’
6. Time and interesting work matter the most
7. Employees value career paths that can flex around different life stages
8. The City ‘norm’ is highly stressful and unsustainable
When it comes to work life balance, overall we are encouraged to see a slightly more positive outlook across the City than in previous years, as measured by our City Index of Work Life Balance. 56% of you responded positively, up 6% on 2018. Further, we see flexible working policies more widely offered across London’s City businesses and appreciated by those of you that benefit. However, you tell while policies may be improving, day to day working cultures still lag behind.
Countless respondents commented on the lack of trust shown by organisations wishing to work remotely, and yet 89% of you feel at least as productive when working from home compared with the office. Some 38% see flexible working as not genuinely encouraged within their firms and 44% believe that it has a negative impact on career progression. Further, many of you comment that despite these factors, you prefer to stay in your current role for fear of losing the flexible arrangement in a new job.
The topic of mental health emerged again, shining a spotlight on intense workloads and expected availability placed on so many of you, with over a quarter of respondents saying they would change jobs in search of a better work / life balance. When stress levels are at their highest, 58% said that personal relationships suffer, 54% find it difficult to sleep well and 30% believe they are more likely to make a mistake at work.
If you work flexibly, we’d encourage to be as open and transparent as possible with colleagues about your pressures but also your successes and undoubtedly high levels of productivity, irrespective of where and when you work. By increasing dialogue and openness, working cultures will start to adapt towards this new norm, and you will be seen as a role model for others seeking similar flexibility. Further, we think you should feel empowered to have these conversations in more formal settings too, such as in appraisals and career discussions so that managers can consider your career path and progression in line with your current personal responsibilities and how these might change in the future.