1,200 workers can't be wrong. That's the sample size of a new FlexJobs survey about the impact of workplace flexibility on employees' work-life compatibility, mental, and physical well-being, relationships and family time, and stress levels. The survey results not only echoed Werk's own research about the state of workplace flexibility, but they provided further proof that flexibility is essential in the minds of today's workforce.
For example, 89 percent of the FlexJob survey respondents said flexibility would help them take better care of themselves, and 69 percent thought flex would help them exercise more frequently. That's especially important, considering 70 percent of the respondents said their work schedules have hampered their efforts to stay healthy. Meanwhile, 88 percent said flex could make their lives less stressful, and a whopping 97 percent of respondents with mental health issues believed flexibility would help their mental health.
We found similar trends in our own research. A large segment of those surveyed said the current workday structure makes it challenging to make time for exercise and healthy living, to manage a physical condition or a chronic illness, to get enough sleep at night, and to be available for periodic or recurring health appointments.
As for life-work compatibility and time with loved ones, the FlexJob survey showed that flexibility is a game-changer. 87 percent of respondents said flex would generate more time for them to spend with family or friends, 81 percent thought it would help them be a better spouse or significant other, and 76 percent it would help them be more available to their friends.
Again, Werk's survey illuminated how inflexibility has the opposite effect. For example, the current workday structure makes it challenging for roughly a third of working parents to be the parents they want to be, to fulfill their morning and afternoon activities, to attend special events for their loved ones, and to respond to caregiving emergencies as they arise.
And the fallout from all that inflexibility can be huge. FlexJobs found that the percentage of professionals who left their jobs because of inflexibility had more than doubled between 2014 and 2018, going from 13 percent to 31 percent. Furthermore, 13 percent of professionals had considered leaving for a more flexible job and 17 percent said they were currently looking for one.
In light of these galvanizing results, business leaders should strive to make sure their workplaces have the flexibility workers demand, not the inflexibility workers flee.