- Thirty-one percent of working women with children 18 and under living at home said in a new FlexJobs survey that inflexible work schedules were driving them out of the labor force. Of the 2,000 women polled, 42% said that restarting a career after taking time out for their families was difficult or very difficult, forcing many to not return. Citing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, FlexJobs said that that mothers with young children were less likely to be in the workforce than those with older children.
- Work-life balance (82%) led the list of the top five factors that mothers in the survey considered when evaluating job prospects, followed by flexible work options (78%), work schedule (77%), salary (76%) and health insurance (39%). Most women in the survey left or considered leaving a job because of a lack of flexibility, and more than half tried to negotiate a flexible schedule with their boss, but only 32% succeeded. However, 40% felt that a flexible work arrangement would hurt their career.
- Employers may also see benefits from creating flexible work options, FlexJobs said. Nearly a third of respondents would take a pay cut if they could telecommute as much as they liked. Additionally, 85% of women said they would be more loyal to their employers if they had a flexible work arrangement, and 64% think they would be more productive working from home than at the worksite.
Making the case for flexible work options is easier than ever before, with 74% of workers in an IWG survey considering flexibility in the workplace to be the norm. In fact, 80% of those polled by IWG said they would choose a job with flexible work options over one without. The survey showed that employers have responded, with 83% having adopted a flexible work policy within the past 10 years.
Flexible work options also help dads, according to a study from the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research that was released in June, Researchers found that when fathers had access to flexibility at work, mothers had fewer postpartum health problems. EY found that turnover among its working mothers declined when fathers were granted the same paid leave benefit mothers received.
Although paid maternity leave came in at a distant 12% among mothers' job consideration factors in the FlexJobs survey, other research has shown paid leave benefits for families are increasingly in-demand. Employers who offer benefits that workers value the most, like flexible work options and paid family leave, may have a leg up in the competition for attracting and retaining talent.