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Majority of U.S. Employers Support Workplace Flexibility


October 19, 2015 (PR Web) According to new research by WorldatWork and FlexJobs, eighty percent of companies surveyed offer flexible work arrangements to employees. However, only tjirty-seven percent of those surveyed report they have a formal, written philosophy or policy to support employee flexibility options.



According to new research by WorldatWork and FlexJobs, the majority of companies surveyed (80%) offer flexible work arrangements to employees. However, only 37% of those surveyed report they have a formal, written philosophy or policy to support employee flexibility options.

According to the survey, mastering a culture of workplace flexibility is not something that organizations do on the first or even second try. It's an evolutionary process that occurs as employees tap into what they need to achieve work-life effectiveness.

By far, the most prevalent flexibility programs offered are telework days on an ad-hoc basis, flex time and compressed workweeks. From 2011 to 2015, flexibility programs have varied according to the type of program offered and the organization's demographics, industry and culture. Additionally, 41% of those surveyed report that access to flexible work arrangements is not widespread to all employees. Frequently, only a small portion of managers (42%) accept the idea that flexibility is an essential element to organizational success. Only 3% of organizations attempt to quantify the return on investment (ROI) of flexibility programs by measuring productivity, employee engagement and performance ratings.

"Top employers today understand the valid reasons for creating new ways of working, however we're still witnessing a lack of training and resistance from management," said Anne C. Ruddy, CCP, CPCU, president and CEO of WorldatWork. "Without a formal program in place, it's difficult to measure flexibility's effectiveness. Until that happens, companies will not see cost saving benefits, productivity gains and increased employee retention, which all comes from workplace flexibility."

A few additional highlights from the 2015 survey:

 More than two-thirds of managers (67%) offer flexibility to all or most of their employees at their own discretion.

 66% of organizations cover the purchase of laptops for their teleworkers, by far the most provided expense.

 While many managers still find it difficult to estimate the productivity of teleworking employees, 48% believe teleworkers are equally as productive as in-office employees.

 44% of organizations do not feature or market flexibility as a key employee benefit when attempting to attract new employees.

"Allowing 'ad hoc' flexible work options without oversight or intention isn't a smart, long-term strategy for companies," said Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of FlexJobs. "The 80% of companies that offer flexible work casually are missing some key strategic possibilities. By formalizing flex-work programs and putting structure around them, they can track metrics, measure progress and quantify goals and outcomes. The most important part is to realize that work flexibility shouldn't compete or erode business goals, but should support a healthier more productive and stronger bottom line when implemented proactively and strategically." WorldatWork conducted similar employee recognition program surveys in 2013 and 2010. 

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