- FlexJobs has released a review of 2016 research studying flexible workplace programs among U.S. employers. This includes a recent FlexJobs survey of 3,100 people that found the top four reasons employees want flexible work schedules: Money for basic needs, retirement savings, a college education and travel. FlexJobs also found that half the survey respondents left a job or considered leaving because their employer didn’t offer flexible work schedules.
- Another study from the University of Minnesota and MIT Sloan Kettering showed that one control group of employees exposed to flexible workplace programs experienced more control of their work schedules, more support from their boss and more job satisfaction than employees in a second control group who had no such exposure.
- A Leadership IQ study found that employees were more likely to love their jobs if they were flexible. About 24% of employees who worked every day in their offices said they loved their jobs compared with 38% of mobile workers and 45% of telecommuters.
Workplace flexible programs include telecommuting, which is working mostly from home, and mobile scheduling, which allows employees to work from anywhere. Flex work may also include working in an office on a flexible time schedule.
However, not every employee who wants to work from home or work remotely in general is a suitable candidate. Some employees work better in a structured, supervised work environment. When that’s the case, managers should tell them so. Employers must also consider how workplace flexible programs might affect overall productivity.
The studies back up what other studies have shown: Nine-to-five work schedules are on the decline. Temporary and freelance jobs are rising faster than steady full-time jobs, and alternative work arrangements are up 15.8% from 10%.