Flexible Work Programs Plentiful but Not Formalized

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Oct. 6 — While the vast majority of companies (80 percent) offer flexible work arrangements to employees, only 37 percent have a formal, written policy addressing work flexibility, according to research released Oct. 6 by WorldatWork and FlexJobs.
“Informal implementation of flexible work breeds confusion and jealousies, and that can turn into a very big management problem,” Sara Sutton Fell, chief executive officer and founder of online career site FlexJobs, told attendees at an Oct. 6 event to discuss the findings of the “Trends in Workplace Flexibility” survey.
People work in different ways, Emma Plumb, director of the advocacy group, 1 Million for Work Flexibility, said at the event. Those preferred ways to work may even vary throughout the day and depend on a particular project, so it is important to give employees opportunities to be their most productive, she said. However, the degree of flexible options should be consistent across jobs, Plumb said.
According to the survey, achieving a corporate culture that embraces workplace flexibility is not something that organizations can do on the first or even second try. “It’s an evolutionary process that occurs as employees tap into what they need to achieve work-life effectiveness,” WorldatWork said in a statement announcing the survey results.
The survey findings are based on responses from 375 members of WorldatWork, a human resources association, collected between May 20 and June 19.
The survey is available at http://www.worldatwork.org/waw/adimLink?id=79123.