Corporate wellness insights

Flextime and Working Remotely Growing Nationally

Posted by Matthew Benton on 07.11.2017

A recent New York Times article highlighted the increase in the number of employees working remotely and the numbers of hours they’re doing so.
We’ve long seen it in action here at WCS, where many of our employees work from home offices across the country. Depending on their roles and responsibilities, working remotely is also an option for some of our Bethesda-based employees.

A new Gallup report on The State of the American Workplace now says the growing remote-worker trend is symptomatic of a larger general desire among employees to seek “greater work-life balance and better personal well-being.” Today’s workers are “focused on their lives, not only their jobs,” the report says. “They do not want to compromise one at the expense of the other.”

53% of employees say a role that allows them to have greater work-life balance and better personal well-being is “very important” to them.

You may recall that Yahoo received a lot of employee push back a few years ago when its CEO, Marissa Mayer, announced that the company would stop allowing employees to work from home. (Mayer may be working from home herself soon. It’s not clear whether Verizon, Yahoo’s new owner, will retain her as CEO.)

Demographic Differences

While men share more responsibility for the home and family than they did a few decades ago, women still represent the primary caregivers in many households. They often face extra pressure to “balance” their personal and professional lives. It makes sense that female employees are significantly more likely than male employees (60% vs. 48%, respectively) to say that a job offering work-life balance is “very important” to them.

As organizations try to diversify their workforces and bring more women into a variety of roles, they shouldn’t overlook the importance of work-life balance and personal well-being among females.

The same can be said for Millennials. Not only is this segment more likely to be planning families, or to have young children at home already, but previous Gallup research reveals that they care deeply about their ability to integrate work and life. Because technological advances have made working remotely practical for many companies, it’s possible that Millennials view these workplaces as more modern and in tune with their lifestyle and priorities.

Flextime: A Hiring “Differentiator”

Gallup calls flextime—allowing employees to have some choice in the time of day they work—a “differentiating” employee benefit. Why? Because only select companies currently offer it, most employees say they would change jobs to get it, and it correlates most highly with employee engagement and well-being.

  • 51% of employees say they would change jobs for flextime
  • 44% of employees say their company offers flextime

Conclusion

It’s true that flexible schedules and work-from-home options are more practical for office-based companies like WCS. As a wellness provider, we know first hand the limitations of manufacturing and retail populations, for example. Nevertheless, Gallup encourages every company to look for ways to offer some flexibility to employees. It’s the best way to attract and retain a modern workforce.

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