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Employers Finally Giving Workers What They Want — Flexibility

Employers Finally Giving Workers What They Want — Flexibility
Credit: Photology1971/Shutterstock.com

It appears U.S. businesses are finally taking their employees' desire for more flexibility seriously, new research shows.

Two-thirds of U.S. workers believe employers are getting better at offering flexibility to meet the needs of employees and their families, according to the results of The Harris Poll.

"Workplace flexibility has moved from a niche concern to a mainstream reality," Karen Kornbluh, executive vice president of external affairs at Nielsen, said in a statement. "Men, women, parents, millennials are all interested — if it makes business sense — and employers seem to be responding."

This perceived improvement comes none too soon, as the struggle to achieve work-life balance affects the career trajectories of many Americans. Specifically, nearly 30 percent of those surveyed have chosen to pass up a job they felt would conflict with family obligations, while more than 20 percent believe they've been "passed over" at some point for a promotion, a raise or a new job due to a need for a flexible or consistent and predictable work schedule.

These sentiments occur most prominently among working parents. The research discovered that half of the working parents and nearly six in 10 single working parents have passed up a job they felt would conflict with family obligations.

The study shows that more than just careers can suffer due to the need for flexibility. Sixty percent of working parents said their jobs keep them from spending enough time with their families.

Overall, the vast majority of Americans, 89 percent, feel employers should try to offer flexibility to meet the needs of workers and their families, so long as the work gets done. In addition, more than half of U.S. workers and nearly 60 percent of working parents feel they could do their jobs better if they were allowed a more flexible work schedule.

The study was based on surveys of 4,096 adults over the age of 18.

Originally published on Business News Daily

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.