HIGH workloads tie one-third of full-time working parents to their desks for the equivalent of an extra day each week, research suggests.

Charity Family Friendly Working Scotland found more than 30% of this group serves an additional seven hours a week, and most of them say that’s “the only way to deal with” their tasks.

Others said workplace culture drove them to stay in the office when they should have been returning home.

The findings come from the Modern Families Index 2020, which is published today and based on interviews with more than 500 people.

It also found that more than half of working parents will rule out a job move in the next two years because they fear a new employer would not give them the flexibility they need to juggle work and life commitments.

According to National Statistics Scotland estimates, children aged 15 and under account for almost 20% of the population.

Family Friendly Working Scotland says that means hundreds of thousands of parents could be in this situation.

It previously released research showing just one in eight Scottish jobs with full-time-equivalent salaries of £20,000 or more are advertised as flexible.

It now wants recruiters to state flexible working opportunities more openly on their websites and in job adverts.

Studies by Manchester Business School and the Chartered Institute for Personnel Development suggest offering flexibility increases staff motivation, productivity and loyalty while reducing time off sick.

Zurich Insurance Group saw 45% more women apply for senior management roles in the three months after it advertised each as being a “part-time, job-share or full-time working opportunity”.

Underwriting analyst Pauline White, who works in its Glasgow office, said: “Three quarters of

our UK employees work flexibly, whether that’s on a part-time or job-share basis, working from home or just changing start and finish times. We’ve also refreshed our whole family friendly policy adding things like 16 weeks’ paternity leave, support for those going through IVF or who have suffered a miscarriage as well as more flexibility for carers.

“The culture around flexible working has completely changed. It’s now something people are actively encouraged to utilise to help them better balance their work and home responsibilities.

“We regularly survey our staff and we’ve seen satisfaction levels increasing as our family-friendly and flexible working policies have filtered through.”

Nikki Slowey, co-director of Family Friendly Working Scotland, said: “The business case for flexible working is well established and many progressive Scottish employers already embrace flexibility and reap the benefits. But many more are still on a journey towards making flexible working the norm.

“We hope our new research reminds employers how important work life balance is to our modern workforce and that, for many employers, all they need to do is shout about ways of working they’ve already agreed.”