Flexible working is fundamental to the future of the voluntary sector as we move beyond the pandemic with inclusion, social justice, and compassion at the heart of how we want to work and thrive together. But this will require courage, creativity, trust, and a willingness to experiment, learn and share our experiences openly with each other. This report is just the start of an exciting and overdue conversation in our sector.

Our hope is that the recommendations below will help to create and support the necessary shifts in mindset, energy, commitment, and knowledge sharing that will take us to a place where flexibility is deeply embedded in our cultures for the long term.


  1. Backed by ACEVO and NCVO, the voluntary sector to champion a default position of ‘yes to flex’ – where employers proactively consider how flexibility is possible in the job design for all roles, for everyone.
  2. Flexibility to be advertised for all roles — so employers openly lead the conversation about how flexibility can work, and the focus isn’t on the candidate to request it.
  3. Organisations and individuals to openly share their stories of how flexibility is working — so that best practice, learning and inspiration are easily available in the sector, confidence is built, and stigma is reduced.
  4. Organisations to embrace a position of trust — where individuals are more empowered to manage their time based on outcomes and impact, rather than when and where they work.
  5. Organisations to have the courage to experiment, make mistakes, adjust, learn and improve, and be honest about what is and isn’t working while keeping a focus on individual needs.
  6. Flexibility to become a central pillar of equity, diversity and inclusion, and wellbeing strategies.

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 10 February 2022