Employees Forego Higher Wages in Favor of Flexible Work Schedules

by Jessica Miller-Merrell, xceptionalhr.com, blogging4jobs.com

Eighty-three percent of Americans believe telecommuting’s popularity is on the rise. With the rise of smart phones, tablets and other mobile technologies, working from home has never been easier. And never before have employees been willing to give up certain benefits just to have a home-based job. 

My boss was less than enthused when I presented him an alternative work schedule which requested flexibility and the ability to work from home. Not wanting to rock the work boat, I hid my telecommuting lifestyle by forwarding my office phone straight to my cell phone. He thought I was an exemplary employee until a corporate tattletale let the cat out of the bag.  Let’s just say my corporate career went downhill from there.

Work for me was always a priority. I ensured there was always at least one team member at the office to field questions, interview candidates or attend meetings in the flesh. But truth be told, most of that job —like many jobs in today’s world — could be accomplished from anywhere, including home. 

The comforts of working from home jobs are plentiful: taking calls in your yoga pants, folding laundry while on a conference call and scheduling meetings around your dentist appointment. The benefits are so enticing to some employees, it might surprise you what they admitted they were willing to give up when there truly is no place like home.  

Flexible work schedules and telecommuting options are growing in popularity among employees as they look for ways to balance work and life like me. It’s stressful to be in demand. 

Employees are feeling the stress, but so are smart and committed employees. You trust them. That’s the reason you hired them in the first place. A recent study from Harris Interactive sat down with employees just to get the skinny on the growing importance of the flexible work environments. These employees are in desperate need of flexibility, and will give up company perks to prove it. 

  • 17% of the 2,500 employees surveyed said they would give up a salary increase to have more work flexibility in their schedules.
  • Employees who have flexible schedules work more and at varying times of the day. Fifteen percent of these same employees agree to give up vacation days.
  • Working from home can be a solitary life. Employees leave the corporate dress and showering behind. Twelve percent of those surveyed would give up showering to telecommute. Gives another meaning to, “smell ya later.”

What would you give up for a flexible work schedule? 

It’s interesting to note that among the survey responses is both the willingness to forego a salary increase and surrendering half of allotted vacation days. These two items directly and indirectly impact a company’s annual budget. When looking for alternatives to an annual raise because of a difficult year, a company might be able to retain its skilled workforce by offering employees highly coveted flexibility.

For me, my work-from-home schedule is dictated by my own wishes, by my family obligations and client needs such as meetings (whether in person, online, or on the phone). For me, my best work is done between the hours of 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. when the rest of the house is snoozing. It’s peaceful and I can focus on the task at hand with minimal interruptions. Today’s working parents — especially women, need flexibility to have personal and professional balance. Being a mom is a 24/7 job and too many jobs don’t end at 5 p.m. either. 

What would you give up if your company let you work from home?  I’d love to hear your insights.   



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