According to a new study released today by WorldatWork, a global human resources association, in conjunction with National Flex Day and National Work & Family Month, workplace flexibility is believed to have a positive effect on engagement, motivation and satisfaction, although to a somewhat lesser degree since measured in 2010.
“Despite news reports focused on high-profile companies such as Yahoo, Best Buy and HP reigning in telework programs, the data from this report shows that only 3% of companies have actually canceled telework programs over the past two years,” said Rose Stanley, WorldatWork practice leader for benefits, work-life, flexibility and recognition.
The survey does reveal that most workplace flexibility programs are offered by fewer organizations in 2013 than in 2010, but these changes in specific programs are relatively minor and may be attributed to organizations being more strategic about the programs offered to their workforce.
- Telework (in some form) is offered by 88% of organizations.
- Teleworking, flextime and part-time schedules continue to be the most prevalent flexibility programs offered by employers. These programs are each offered to some or all employees in more than 80% of companies.
- 64% of respondents believe their workforce would say there is a positive or extremely positive effect from flexibility programs on employee engagement, 65% on employee motivation and 73% on employee satisfaction.
- Job share, career on/off ramps and phased retirement remain the least prevalent programs offered by employers.
- Exempt/salaried employees have the greatest flexibility; 7 of the 13 programs in the survey are offered to exempt/salaried employees by nearly all participating organizations (more than 94%).
- The most prevalent flexibility programs offered to nonexempt/hourly workers are part-time schedules (93%), phased return from leave (93%), shift flexibility (91%) and compressed workweeks (88%).
- Career opportunities are not limited by the use of flexible work arrangements. 69% of organizations say that career progression or development opportunities are not impacted by an employee’s use of flexibility.
- Flexibility training for managers and employees remains a rarity. Only 17% of organizations with at least one flexibility program said they provide training to managers about how to successfully manage employees with flexible work arrangements.
WorldatWork’s “Survey on Workplace Flexibility 2013” summarizes the results of a July 2013 survey of 566 WorldatWork members. The survey was designed to provide updated information about trends in workplace flexibility practices, previously surveyed in 2010 and reported on in 2011.
The complete report provides additional data on telework, flextime, compressed workweeks, workplace flexibility training, effects of flexibility on motivation, engagement and satisfaction, and obstacles to implementing flexibility.
“Overall, the survey shows that employers are continuing to utilize workplace flexibility programs,” said Stanley. “It appears to work best in those organizations where the concept of flexibility is part of the organization’s culture and where employees feel free to request flexibility as needed. The survey highlights that while many organizations are utilizing one or more flexibility programs, significant improvements still need to be made in terms of training managers who supervise employees with flexible work arrangements.”
The Total Rewards Association
WorldatWork (www.worldatwork.org) is a nonprofit human resources association for professionals and organizations focused on compensation, benefits, work-life effectiveness and total rewards — strategies to attract, motivate and retain an engaged and productive workforce. WorldatWork and its affiliates provide comprehensive education, certification, research, advocacy and community, enhancing careers of professionals and, ultimately, achieving better results for the organizations they serve. WorldatWork has more than 65,000 members and subscribers worldwide; 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies employ a WorldatWork member. Founded in 1955, WorldatWork is affiliated with more than 70 local human resources associations and has offices in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Washington, D.C.
- Employment & Career
Melissa Sharp, 202-315-5565