Our partners from the University of Kent, in collaboration with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, have produced a very insightful working paper on the condition of the flexible work across Europe and the possible stigmas associated with it. Moreover, this study evidences the importance of contexts that shape views around flexible working, to help researchers better understand policy changes needed to ensure better flexible working practices.
Despite the tremendous expansion of flexible working, particularly in the wake of the pandemic, stigma associated with flexible workers remains persistent and widespread. This stigma prevents workers from utilising adaptable work hours and may have detrimental effects on their productivity and well-being most of the times.
This study examines how national cultural and policy contexts shape flexibility stigma levels within a country. The study covers 28 European countries. The research shows that in countries with a more work-life friendly work culture and egalitarian gender norms there is less prevalence of flexibility stigma. Similarly, in countries with generous family-friendly policies, workers are less likely to have negative perception towards flexible working. Finally, stronger bargaining positions of workers, may it be through stronger union power or through better labour market conditions, helps remove stigmatised views around workers who use flexible working arrangements.
Read the full report here!