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A third of workers seek jobs that offer mental health support

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The latest Quarterly Flexible Working Index, which analysed job seekers’ priorities over the last three months, has recorded huge demand for roles that offer mental health support, and record numbers of workers expressing a preference for “Work From Anywhere” schemes.

The Index analyses data from Flexa: the platform where every flexible company gets discovered. This latest analysis pooled data insights from over 350,000 job searches, as well as preferences expressed by over 8,000 jobseekers as to where, when and how they want to work between April and June 2023. 

A third of workers want mental health support

Demand for workplace mental health support was consistently high over the last quarter, with an average of almost 1 in 3 workers (30%) expressing a preference for companies that offer mental health support between April and June 2023. This marks a 20% increase in demand for mental health support since July 2022, when just a quarter of all job seekers expressed a preference for companies that offered mental health support to employees.

Demand for workplace mental health support is even greater amongst disabled workers. Since the start of the year, the number of disabled workers preferring to work for companies which offer mental health support has risen by 7%: up from 55% of all disabled workers in July last year to 59% of all disabled workers last quarter. This means disabled workers are almost twice as likely to seek out companies that offer mental health support compared to non-disabled workers. 

The findings come as the latest ONS figures show that the number of people who are out of work due to long-term sickness is at a record high. Separate research found that mental health issue is the most common reason behind this trend.

Molly Johnson-Jones, CEO and co-founder of Flexa, comments:

“Each year, 1 in 4 people will experience mental health issues. The silver lining in the data we’ve collected at Flexa is that workers evidently feel increasingly able to assert their need for support. Job seekers know that, even if they’re not struggling now, they might need mental healthcare in the future – and will be best protected if they are working for employers who genuinely prioritise employees’ wellbeing. Employers who make robust mental health support accessible to all staff year-round – employers like Silverrail, hedgehog lab and Learnerbly – have something worth shouting about. They have exactly what employees are looking for right now. 

“Workplace mental health support should be a priority for all companies looking to nurture inclusive cultures. Our data also highlight the importance of mental health support when it comes to creating accessible workplaces for disabled candidates. The numbers speak for themselves, and we can’t afford to ignore them. Almost 6 in 10 disabled workers want roles that offer mental health support.”  

Seasonal working trends stronger than ever as summer starts

A resurgence in the number of workers looking to work from different locations, kick-started by warmer spring months, has continued with the onset of summer. In particular, “Work From Anywhere” (WFA) schemes – whereby employees can spend a period of time working outside their usual jurisdiction – have soared in popularity. 

The number of job seekers expressing a preference for companies that offer WFA schemes rose 10% between April and June 2023, when a colossal 88% of all workers preferred WFA jobs: the highest number recorded by the Index since it launched in July 2022. The number of workers actively searching for WFA roles skyrocketed by 120% between April and June 2023, when a third of all job hunters were searching for WFA schemes.

Demand for “fully remote” roles – whereby there is no obligation for workers to come into an office – also grew month-on-month last quarter. By June 2023, a huge 59% of all workers expressed a preference for fully remote roles, up by 13% from April this year. 

The seasonality behind demand for flexible working locations applies to working hours, too. Over the last three months, the number of job seekers expressing a preference for “summer hours” rose by 9% – up from 22% of all workers in April to almost a quarter (24%) of all workers in June 2023 – as workers look to make the most of longer and warmer evenings.

Molly Johnson-Jones, CEO and co-founder of Flexa, comments:

“We saw fully remote roles fall out of favour with job seekers last autumn, with demand dropping to an all-time low in December. The reversal of this trend, which began in spring and has continued into the summer, highlights the seasonality behind demand for different working locations. 

“Companies that offer fully remote work – like Form3 – and Work From Anywhere Schemes – like Fika and Huel – are the focus of candidates’ attention right now. It’s not hard to imagine why. This kind of flexibility allows employees to travel for extended periods without having to use up annual leave or take a cut in pay – a particularly appealing prospect during the warmer months.”

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