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Employee Demands for Flexible Work at All-Time High

The most recent Future Forum quarterly global pulse survey demonstrates that employees without flexibility have high rates of attrition, leaving companies with decisions around how to increase flexibility not only in where their employees work, but when.

94% of knowledge workers want flexibility in when they work, even higher than the 80% that desire flexibility in where they work. Despite the desire for flexibility around working hours, 57% of respondents say they have no ability to adjust their hours, the survey of 10,646 knowledge workers spanning six countries shows. 

Rigid schedules impact longevity at a company: Employees lacking flexibility around work schedules report significantly lower experience scores than those with moderate flexibility. Those with little-to-no flexibility are 3.0 times more likely to “definitely” look for a new job in the next year and also report 3.4 times higher work-related stress and anxiety and 2.2 times worse work-life balance.

The executive-employee disconnect continues, with executives showing 1.5 times higher scores on satisfaction with their work environment. There is also a discrepancy in the perception of how transparent companies are on flexible working, with 66% of executives believing they are very transparent while only 43% of employees feel the same. Employees who do not feel their company is transparent about workplace policies are 3.4 times more likely to “definitely” look for a new job. 

Upcoming webinar: Please join us on August 4 at 2:00 PM ET for a discussion with Brian Elliott, Executive Leader of Future Forum and Senior Vice President, Slack Technologies, LLC, and Deborah Lovich, Managing Director and Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group, who will give an overview of Future Forum’s latest global pulse survey. We will answer key questions that business leaders are asking as they navigate how to implement flexible work policies and improve employee satisfaction. Register here.

Margaret Faso

Director of Health Care Research and Policy, American Health Policy Institute and HR Policy Association

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