Employees see flexible work as the new norm
- Flexible working is now the norm, according to 74% of respondents to an IWG survey. With a growing number of workers (now 80%) in the study saying they would choose to work a job with a flexible work option over one without, 83% of employers have adopted a flexible workspace policy in the past decade.
- For 81% of employers in the study, expanding the talent pool is the key motivator for adopting flexible work policies. For employees in the study, more than a third said flexibility is more important than an esteemed title.
- Fifty-two percent of employees said they work offsite for at least half a workweek, and 71% said that having a choice of where they want to work is a key factor in considering career opportunities. Forty-five percent said they think commuting is the worse part of their day, with more than half believing that commuting will be obsolete by 2030.
Employees in study after study have been clear about their preference for flexible work options. A study by researchers from the University of Michigan and California State University Channel Islands found that without flexibility, workers are less happy on the job and more likely to leave. Sixty-five percent of employees in a FlexJobs study released last year said they would be more productive working from home due to fewer distractions and interruptions from colleagues and less stress from commuting and office politics. And a more recent FlexJobs poll found that respondents said they think flexible work improves their relationships with family and friends.
For workers with caregiving responsibilities, flexible work options are often a priority. More employers are recognizing caregivers among their workers and are offering paid leave, flexible work options and other benefits to meet their needs.
For all of the data pointing to the benefit of flexible work options, employment experts have debated whether it should be a default option for employees. Not all workplaces offer flexibility; organizations like IBM, for example, have even scaled back remote work options to ostensibly improve collaboration. But companies might be forced to rethink any opposition to flexible work if the demand for it among workers continues to grow, along with its ability to attract, engage and retain quality talent.