Workplace Survey Shows Patterns in Flex Options

In preparation for the launch of our annual Labor Day Workplace Survey results, I had the pleasure of talking with Laura Vanderkam of CBSMoneyWatch about a story she was doing on colleagues killing productivity. The story cited a key statistic in this year’s survey findings that more than half (53 percent) of working adults think they would get more work done if they had the ability to occasionally work from home.

It was a new question we asked this year because of two reasons we’re seeing that are bumping up against each other. First, more professionals are working from home. They are asking for the opportunity with current employers as well as negotiating for it in job interviews. Second, companies are now starting to ask how to manage remote work teams and how to manage productivity. We need to get the latter caught up on this continuum.

What else did we learn from the results? We are beginning to see significant patterns in the value professionals across all demographics place on workplace flexibility. Worker across the board are feeling a bit more challenged by the collective pressures of a demanding work life, a hectic personal life, and a desire to find fulfillment in both. We feel that our findings are especially significant in that, despite continued unemployment and uncertainty around the national election, professionals are willing to sacrifice even more salary to obtain that flexibility.

Here are some other key results that we will cover in more depth in subsequent posts:

  • Nearly one in two working adults (45%) are willing to give up some percentage of their salary for more flexibility at work; nearly 10% (8.6%) is the average proportion of their salary working adults are willing to relinquish—almost double the amount of last year’s survey (5.8%).
  • The 18-34 age group, on average, would be willing to give up almost 14 percent of their salary (13.9%), more so than working adults aged 35+.
  • More than three in five working adults (61%) strongly or somewhat agree that flexibility is one of the most important factors they consider when looking for a new job or deciding what company to work for, and one in fivestrongly agree (20%).
  • Sixty-seven percent of working adults agree that it is possible to “have it all” when it comes to work-life balance, and interestingly there is no significant difference here between women (68%) and men (66%).
  • Fifty-two percent of working adults would be interested in starting their own business in order to achieve a better work-life balance, led by men age 35-44 (75%).
  • More than half (53%) of working adults think they would get more work done if they had the ability to work from home occasionally. Nearly two in three (62%) 18-34 year olds agree.

Do these statistics align with what you are seeing at your companies? How are the conversations progressing with employees on this front? And do you feel you are addressing them for mutual benefit?

Allison O’Kelly is founder and CEO of Mom Corps


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