Ignoring calls for greater flexibility in the workplace could cost the UK hospitality industry £448m a year by 2023, according to a new report by workforce management company Quinyx.
Research undertaken by the company in collaboration with Development Economics and Censuswide showed that despite an increase in flexible working in the UK in recent years, the level of dissatisfaction among hospitality staff around the flexibility of their current working arrangements is high.
Quinyx explained that 73% of hospitality workers in the UK said they faced barriers in achieving greater flexibility at work.
Additionally, 16% of staff highlighted that a lack of flexibility made them feel isolated from friends and family, while 11% revealed it had a negative impact on their health and wellbeing and 12% said that they would be more productive if given more flexible working opportunities.
Young professionals, women and blue-collar workers were the group of workers that were the least likely to be allowed to work flexibly.
Erik Fjellborg, chief executive of Quinyx, said that in the face of hospitality's staffing crisis, flexible working was "an untapped solution to the UK's biggest challenges".
"Widening skills gaps, a lag in productivity and Brexit on the horizon mean British hospitality and catering businesses are struggling to find, hire and retain the workers they need. The more employees are able to choose the right schedule for them, the happier - and therefore more productive - they'll be."
Fjellborg denied that flexibility meant increased costs and logistical problems and suggested that flexible working was simple and economical to introduce. "By increasing flexibility, hospitality and catering employers will give workers a voice and a choice, ultimately increasing productivity, retention and their overall performance."
To compile the report, Development Economics analysed Office for National Statistics data and Censuswide carried our surveys with workers during August on behalf of Quinyx.