Research shows that many of us would like to work more flexibly. It can even motivate us more than financial incentives. Quality flexible working can help: 

  • address skills shortages 
  • attract and retain talent and support diversity 
  • narrow the gender pay gap 
  • improve employee job satisfaction and loyalty 
  • support wellbeing 
  • empower organisations to be more agile and responsive to change. 

While there is no single formally agreed definition of flexible working, we draw on De Menezes and Keliher’s definition as “working arrangements which allow employees to vary the amount, timing, or location of their work”. The term flexible working is used to cover a wide range of working arrangements, including (but not limited to): part-time working; job-sharing; flexitime; compressed hours; annualised hours and term-time-only working; working from home; and mobile working. 


Evidence-based guidance 

In collaboration with Affinity Health at Work, the CIPD conducted in-depth research designed to guide practice around flexible working and, in particular, to: 
  • Build the evidence base of what works when it comes to flexible working and the impact that flexible working interventions can have. 
  • Highlight creative flexible working practices across all levels within organisations and in roles and areas of organisations that are not traditionally seen as suitable for flexible working, to help change the perception that some areas of organisations are off-limits when it comes to flexible working. 
  • Support organisations with the process of implementing flexible working by equipping HR professionals and managers with the practical knowledge they need to: 
    • improve and promote uptake of flexible working 
    • successfully implement flexible working 
    • measure and evaluate the impact of flexible working. 

This insight was developed from nine cross-sector organisations – and one job-share partnership – supplemented with action learning events and diaries. These provided rich qualitative data on the state of flexible working in the UK.  

A toolkit of practical materials and resources for HR, managers and individual flexible workers has been developed alongside this guide.

Case studies and action learning

Improving and promoting uptake of flexible working

Successfully implementing flexible working

Measuring and evaluating the impact of flexible working



Case studies

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