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Can Flex Time Pay Off? 3 Things Employers Should Know

By William Peacock, Esq. | Last updated on

Today is National Flex Day, an occasion to celebrate the benefits and importance of flexible work arrangements: telecommuting, flex time (no more 9-to-5), and compressed work weeks (longer shifts, fewer days). Flex time is great for employees seeking work-life balance, especially those with dependent family members (children and the elderly) whom they have to care for.

It's also surprisingly important for employers. Here are three reasons why:

1. It Makes Working Moms Happier., one of the biggest proponents of National Flex Day (and the source from whence this blog topic was derived), released a survey of 1,500 working moms that showed wide-ranging quality-of-life benefits of flexible schedules. Those with flex time were more likely to say that:

  • Their opinions count at work,
  • They have influence over their work schedules,
  • They have better work-life balance,
  • They are satisfied with their compensation, and
  • They are happy with the amount of time they spend with their spouses and their kids.

2. Ditto for Men.

Karyn Twaronite, Ernst & Young's Global Diversity and Inclusiveness Officer, wrote over at The Huffington Post about the importance of flex time for her organization, especially for male employees. She cited another study that found that men with flexible schedules were more likely to say that:

  • Their opinions count at work,
  • They were happy with their career prospects,
  • They were respected in the workplace,
  • They had opportunities to develop their skills,
  • They are satisfied with their compensation, and
  • They were satisfied with spousal/partner support.

3. It's Good for Bosses Too.

Happier employees, obviously, are more likely to stick around. Twaronite noted that Ernst & Young had a significant double-digit gap in the retention rate among genders in the 1990s -- a gap that has nearly closed since the organization implemented a more flexible working environment.

She said that it costs her company 1.5 to 2 times an employee's salary to replace a worker. Other measures of the cost of failed retention vary from 16 percent of salary (for low-paying, high-turnover positions) to as much as 213 percent of salary for a highly educated executive position, reports Zane Benefits.

It's good for women. It's good for men. And flex time is probably good for your business as well.

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