September 3, 2015
Three quarters (76 percent) of US workers surveyed by online job site FlexJobs say that when they need to get important work done, they avoid the office completely. Of over 2,600 respondents, 50 percent reported that their home is their location of choice to be most productive on important work-related projects. Another 12 percent said they would choose a coffee shop, coworking space, library, or other place besides the office. Fourteen percent would choose the office but only outside standard hours, leaving less than a quarter who prefer the actual office during regular working hours as a place to complete important work. The main reasons for fleeing the corporate embrace were to avoid interruptions from colleagues (cited by 76 percent), escape distractions (74 percent), evade office politics (71 percent), reduce the stress of commuting (68 percent) and work in more comfortable surroundings (65 percent).
Since the last survey from 2013, even more people said they’d consider reducing pay or savings in exchange for flexible work options.
- In 2015, 30 percent of respondents said they would take a 10 percent or 20 percent cut in pay, but only 28 percent reported the same in 2013.
- 24 percent are willing to forfeit vacation time in 2015, up 6 percent from 2014.
- In 2015, 18 percent said they would give up employer-matched retirement contributions, up from only 15 percent in 2013.
- 82 percent of respondents say they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options.
Health has also become an important consideration for respondents:
- In 2015, 32 percent said health was an important factor in wanting a job with work flexibility, up from 29 percent in 2013.
- 97 percent say a job with flexibility would have a positive impact on their overall quality of life.
- 80 percent think it would make them more healthy.
- 87 percent think it would lower their stress.
Since 2013, these four reasons were the top chosen when people were asked why they seek flexible work:
- Work-life balance (81 percent)
- Family (56 percent)
- Time savings (56 percent)
- Commute stress (48 percent)
The other main trends identified in the study were:
- Work-life balance remains the number one reason, up 9 percent since last year.
- Time savings has outranked cost savings as a factor in seeking flexible work for the past three years, indicating people may place a higher value on their time vs. money.
- 38 percent of today’s flexible job seekers have commutes over double the national average.
- Exercise plays a great role in people wanting flexible work, with 29 percent saying it’s an important reason in 2015, up from 20 percent in 2013.
- Of those who telecommuted in 2014, 22 percent telecommuted more this year than last year.