New Research Finds Employees Feel Surprisingly Trusted but Inefficiencies Abound in How We Work
A surprising 9 out of 10 full-time U.S. employees believe their boss trusts them to get their job done regardless of where and when they do their work. And, while additional data indicates employees have become upbeat about their increasingly flexible workplaces, inefficiencies abound in how workers use technology and communicate, and there is a lack of training and infrastructure available to support flexible work.
These are among the key findings from a national probablility telephone survey commissioned by Flex+Strategy Group/Work+Life Fit, Inc. (FSG/WLF), co-sponsored by Citrix, and conducted by ORC International (+/- 4 percent margin of error). Other findings include:
- One-third of full time workers telecommute—mostly men, but women are gaining ground
- We turn to technology more than each other; young people like to meet more than boomers
- Technology aids working flexibly and in teams, but backlash is noted especially among men
- Almost everyone has work life flexibility, but most don’t receive training or guidance to use it effectively
With the growth of telework and open office environments combined with the ongoing introduction of new technology, work life flexibility is naturally embedded in today’s workplaces. But we’re stuck in the 1990s with outdated work and management practices that, along with lack of training and infrastructure, put recent investments in workplace innovation at risk and could erode the current reservoir of employee goodwill.
Stay connected with FSG/WLF, sign up to receive our monthly newsletter
2013 New Research Finds Employees Sense Weakened Commitment to Work Life Flexibility
Lack of Training Contributes to Eroding Confidence
Our latest national research finds that while almost all full-time employees reported they had some type of flexibility in 2013, more than 4 in 10 full-time employees were uncertain about their employer's commitment to that flexibiilty. The findings are based on a national probability sample of 556 full-time employed adults. Our research, part of a biennial study first conducted in 2006, also found:
- A majority of employees did not receive training or guidance on how to manage work life flexibility.
- A majority of employees continue to cite obstacles to work life flexibility with the number of employees noting their workloads increased/they had no time rising from 29% in 2011 to 37% in 2013. Women cited this obstacle significantly more than men.
- A higher percentage of respondents (85%in 2013 compared to 66% in 2011) believe employee loyalty, health and performance suffer in workplaces without work life flexibility.
This research was made possible with the support of Quest Diagnostics and is based on a December 2013 telephone survey conducted by ORC International with a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. Findings and analysis are solely FSG/WLF's.
2013 New Research Reveals Major Myths in Telework Debate
and a Growing Struggle in Open Offices
More Women Put in Hours at the Office and in Cubes While More Men Telework
Our latest national research shatters myths about who is working where and reveals new realities along with new struggles facing full-time employees and how they work. Using a national probability survey of 556 full-time employed adults, we looked at both telework and the growing open office trend and found the way employees work today has changed dramatically. Our concern is organizations have been slow to acknowledge and adapt to this fundamentally new and different work reality and as such may compromise the performance and wellbeing of both their business and employees. This research was made possible with the support of Quest Diagnostics and is based on a December 2013 telephone survey conducted by ORC International with a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. Findings and analysis are solely FSG/WLF's.
Media Coverage Highlights
For a complete list of coverage, click here
2011 Work+Life Fit Reality Check Survey
The 2011 Work+Life Fit Reality Check is a telephone survey of a national probability sample of 637 full-time employed adults was sponsored by Work+Life Fit, Inc., and conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on March 3-7, 2011, and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. Summary of findings:
- Work+life flexibility is no longer a bright, shiny, novelty item. It's here to stay.
- The work+life flexibility that existed before the downturn survived intact and is growing.
- Since 2006, people are significantly less afraid of the financial impact and the negative perceptions of flexibility, but today too little time and too much work get in the way.
- The majority of respondents concur that without optimal work+life flexibility businesses will suffer particularly in terms of employee health, morale and productivity.
2009 World at Work Journal: CFOs See Business Impacts of Work-Life Flexibility, But They Can't Execute for Strategic Benefit
Article in peer reviewed World at Work Journal (2nd Qtr. 2009) takes the CFO Perspectives on Work-Life Flexibility study to the next level. Conducted in May, 2008 by an independent research firm and co-sponsored by BDO Seidman, LLP, this national telephone survey of a random sample of 100 top CFOs from companies with at least 5,000 employees was the first to study the perceptions of work-life flexibility from the view of financial leadership. Findings: a majority of CFOs recognize the broad potential operational and personal impact of work-life flexibility; however, only 13 out of the 100 report having the organizational infrastructure and leadership buy-in to support execution for strategic results. In the article, WLF CEO and lead researcher, Cali Williams Yost presents an analysis of the findings as well as proposes implications for the development and implementation of work-life flexibility as a strategic lever and operating model.
2009 Work+Life Fit Reality Check Survey – Flexibility in the Recession
Conducted by Opinion Research Corporation for Work+Life Fit, Inc., of a national probability sample of 757 full-time employed adults to study the reality of work+life flexibility in the recession. Highlights include: Most employees willing to save jobs with schedule change or pay cut; job insecurity is doing little to stop the use of work life flexibility; access to and use of flexibility has either increased or stayed the same for most people; overwhelming majority of respondents have changed their employment plans because of the economic downtown, with a majority saying they are going to work in retirement, and are less likely to take voluntary career breaks to care for children or aging parents.
2008 CFO Perspectives on Work Life Flexibility
Co-sponsored by BDO Seidman, LLP and Work+Life Fit, Inc. The study gauges CFO viewpoints on flexibility’s potential impact on business growth. Telephone interviews were held with 100 chief financial officers at companies with at least 5,000 employees located across the U.S. to assess CFOs’ individual and corporate perspectives on work life flexibility.
2007 Annual Work+Life Fit Reality Check
Conducted by Opinion Research Corporation for Work+Life Fit, Inc., of a national probability sample of 900 full-time employed adults to monitor work+life progress from the individual’s perspective. Highlights include: Work life flexibility in the presidential election; most people want to work differently not less; work life flexibility will not hurt customer service; and more people have work life flexibility than in 2006.
2006 Changing the Career Ladder: Paving Flexible Pathways for Today’s Talent
Co-sponsored by Work+Life Fit, Inc., Tuck Business School, and Aquent to better understand today’s workforce and the phenomenon of career sequencing and workplace flexibility. Conducted using two online surveys: one was sent to a targeted sample of professionals, and the other sent to corporate managers in charge of hiring.
2006 Annual Work+Life Fit Reality Check
Conducted by Opinion Research Corporation for Work+Life Fit, Inc., of a national probability sample of 981 full-time employed adults to monitor work+life progress from the individual’s perspective. Highlights include: Work-life “balance” is an issue for everyone, not just women and mothers; yet only 15% said they had work-life balance; people were stuck behind roadblocks such as fear of making less money, and their boss with say “no."