How Important Are Flexible Work Schedules to Employees?

Oct 02, 2019
| The Extensis Team

In a time where recruiting and retention are more challenging than ever, the importance of workplace perks continue to grow. Employers big and small are seeking ways to alter their talent management strategies and perks offerings to keep up with current trends and make their business attractive to job seekers.

One of the most sought-after workplace perks in recent years, which isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, are flexible work schedules.

In it’s 8th annual “Super Survey” on flexible work, FlexJobs provides insights into why employees today want flexible working schedules, the value of this perk, and the types of flexible work that employees want the most.

Flexible Work Is Still In-Demand

The FlexJobs survey was taken by over 7,300 workers. It is shown that 30% of employees have left a job because they weren’t offered flexible work options.

The first section of the report highlights the reasons why workers want flexible work options. Here are the top reasons as revealed in the study:
  • Work-life balance – 75%
  • Family – 45%
  • Time savings – 42%
  • Commuting stress – 41%
  • Avoiding office politics and distractions – 33%
  • Travel – 29%
  • Cost savings – 25%
  • Being a pet owner – 24%
  • Caregiving responsibilities – 18%
  • Living in a bad local job market – 15%

Next, the survey asked respondents to select the most important factors they consider when exploring new job opportunities. Let’s take a look at the top 5 responses:
  • Work-life balance – 73%
  • Salary – 73%
  • Flexible work options – 69%
  • Work schedule – 67%
  • Meaningful work – 55%

Clearly, job seekers today want and look for new opportunities that give them more flexibility with their work schedules so that they can have more availability in other areas of their lives.

What Types of Flexible Work do Employees Want?

The next part of the survey explored the different types of flexible work that exist today and which one’s employees want the most.

6 different flexible work options were listed in the survey, and respondents were asked to choose the one they most prefer:
  • Remote work 100% of the time – 76%
  • Flexible schedule – 72%
  • Part-time schedule – 46%
  • Alternative schedule – 45%
  • Remote work some of the time – 43%
  • Freelance contract – 39%

Remote working is one type of flexible work arrangement that is increasing in popularity. Of the employees that said they were able to work remotely in 2018, 19% have worked remotely more often this year. 14% said they are working remotely the same amount and 16% said they are working from home less than last year.

Why Does Flexible Work Matter for Employers?

The last part of the FlexJobs survey breaks down why flexible work is important for employers and the ramifications it could have for businesses who choose to not offer it.

80% of workers said they would be more loyal to their employer if offered flexible working opportunities, which would help increase retention.

In a somewhat surprising result, 28% of employees said they would be willing to take a 10% to 20% pay cut if it meant having flexible working perks. And 21% said they would give up vacation time.

Employees also believe that working from home would make them more productive (65%) because:


  • Less distractions – 74%
  • Fewer disruptions from co-workers – 72%
  • Less stress from commuting – 70%
  • Less office politics – 64%

It’s also well known that flexible work perks are a valuable recruiting tool for employers, and with 97% of survey takers saying they are interested in being a flexible worker for a long time, offering these benefits could help smaller employer better compete for top talent.

Modern Workplace Perks Are Critical To Overcoming Recruiting and Retention Challenges

As employers seek ways to boost their recruiting and retention strategies as the talent market grows more competitive, adding new employee benefits and workplace perks can help even the smallest business gain a competitive advantage for top talent.

Flexible work options are one such perk that business leaders should look to offer, especially as it grows in demand by today’s workforce.

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