According to FlexJobs’ 8th annual survey, 30% of respondents have reported leaving a job because it did not offer flexible work options. 16% are currently looking for a new job because of flexibility issues.
With this insight, it’s not surprising that 80% also said they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options. More than half (52%) of respondents have tried to negotiate flexible work arrangements with their employer.
Whether you’re a professional interested in working flexibly, an employer considering or already supporting flexible work options, or anyone interested in the current state of remote and flexible work, there’s a lot to learn from our full Super Survey 2019 results!
Why People Seek Flexible Work Options
Since 2013 when we first conducted this survey, we’ve been asking people to tell us the factors that make them want a job with flexibility. The four options below have always been the top four reported reasons people seek flexible work.
There may be a connection between time savings and commute stress because 72% of survey respondents said their longest daily commute was one hour or more.
Other high-ranking factors for seeking flexible work options included:
The following three options also stood out:
Most Important Factors When Evaluating a Job Prospect
Survey respondents also told us the “most important factors” they consider when evaluating a job prospect. It’s no surprise that flexible work options and related considerations like work-life balance are included. What might be surprising is that they rank well above things like health insurance, retirement benefits, vacation time, and paid parental leave.
Who Wants Work Flexibility
We often assume that flexible work appeals to a wide variety of professionals for different reasons and the survey results clearly demonstrate that. Survey respondents told us they closely identify with the following groups:
Most Desired Flexible Work Options
As we’ve seen in all previous surveys, remote work remains the flexible work option of choice among professionals. People ranked their interest in flexible work options this way:
The vast majority of survey respondents have worked remotely before and know other remote workers:
And people are increasing the amount of time they spend working remotely. Of the people who said they worked remotely in 2018, 19% have spent more time working remotely this year than last year, compared to 14% who are working from home the same amount year-over-year and 16% who are working less from home this year than last.
How Remote Work Affects Productivity
Asked whether they would be more productive working remotely or in a traditional office space, respondents said:
That’s understandable when you consider their answers to the question, “Where do you go when you really need to get something done for work?”
That’s right, only 8% of respondents said the office during work hours is where they’re most productive.
How a Lack of Flexible Work Options Affects Job Choices and Health
Potentially a sign of job seekers having more control and more opportunity in this tight job market, 30% of workers have reported leaving a job because it did not offer flexible work options and 14% considered leaving a job but decided to stay despite the lack of work flexibility. Sixteen percent are currently looking for a new job specifically because of work flexibility issues.
Quality of life: 44% said a job with flexibility would have a “huge improvement” on their overall quality of life, and 53% said it would have a “positive impact.”
Health: 78% of people said having a flexible job would allow them to be healthier (eat better, exercise more, etc.), and 86% said they’d be less stressed.
Why People Work
We wanted to learn about why people work—their needs and motivations. A full 64% of respondents said they both need and want to work; 25% said they work only because they need to; and 11% said they work only because they want to.
People told us these are the reasons they work:
Ramifications for Employers
Yet again the results of this survey show that flexible work options are not simply a perk for workers. Employers see big benefits when they incorporate work flexibility into the company’s strategy and operations.
Employee retention: 80% of respondents said they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options (up from 75% in 2018).
Reducing expenses: 28% of respondents said they would take a 10% or 20% cut in pay; 21% are willing to forfeit vacation time; 16% said they would give up employer-matching retirement contributions.
Productivity: 65% of respondents think they would be more productive working from home than working in a traditional office environment due to fewer distractions (74%), fewer interruptions from colleagues (72%), reduced stress from commuting (70%), and minimal office politics (64%).
Education and experience: Work flexibility appeals to highly educated and experienced workers. 78% of respondents have at least a college degree: 69% having at least a bachelor’s degree and 28% having a graduate degree. And in their professions, 33% are manager level or higher.
Hiring strategy: 97% of respondents are interested in being a flexible worker in the long-term. Offering flexible work options can help attract well-educatedprofessionals with solid experience who come from a variety of backgrounds.