Today we have a guest post from Brie Weiler Reynolds. Brie is the Director of Online Content at FlexJobs and a contributing writer for 1 Million for Work Flexibility, the first national initiative to bring people together and create a collective voice in support of work flexibility.
Over the last decade, telecommuting and flexible work options have grown substantially. Sure, the increase in useful technology that helps us work from anywhere at any time has facilitated this shift in work habits, but it’s also a signal of a cultural shift. Professionals today have a whole different value system when it comes to why, how and how much they work, as compared to previous generations.
A recent survey of 1,300 job seekers who are looking for flexible work (telecommuting, flex scheduling, freelancing, etc.) found that the top five reasons for seeking a more flexible job are:
- Work-life balance
- Family needs
- Time and cost savings
- Reduced commute stress
- Health and fitness considerations
The younger generations in the workplace are placing increasing emphasis on work-life balance. Work is not their life, they say, and they’re pushing employers to give them more options that support, rather than hinder, the balanced lifestyle they seek. A new movement called 1 Million for Work Flexibility aims to bring together these professionals, along with businesses and organizations who support flexible work options, to raise awareness about the need for flexible work.
As people sign on in support of 1 Million, they’ve expressed why they want flexible work, and their motivations closely align with the top five reasons found in the survey. In their own words, they explain why these issues matter to professionals across the country.
One theme mentioned by many is freedom. “Freedom to work creatively and independently allows me to excel by finding balance in all aspects of my life!” shared Ann from Texas.
For previous generations, work always came first, often at the expense of family. But more people seek flexible work now because, as Kat from New Mexico stated, “I don’t want to have to choose between work and family.”
Time and cost savings
From big expenses to small ones, flexible work options would help “save time and money from commuting, save money on clothes, lunches and other incidentals,” said Angeline from Florida.
Reduced commute stress
“I can conquer more remotely than when I commute 3+ hours a day!” shared Tameka from Illinois. It’s fun to talk about the rise of the “Super Commuter” but professionals spend a huge amount of time getting to and from work ‒ time that could be better spent actually working (from home), or exercising, preparing healthy meals, helping kids with homework or volunteering in our communities.
Health and fitness considerations
Work flexibility makes it easier for people to improve their health, stay fit and find accommodations so they can keep working regardless of health-related obstacles. “I am a disabled senior needing a part-time job. We all want and need an income and a better work-life balance,” offered Jeanne from Ohio.
Readers, what are your reasons for seeking more flexible work? What work flexibility is best for your situation?