Employers today know that employees want flexibility, and many companies say they offer it. But there are lots of people out there who need flexibility but don’t have access to it.

In our study on flexibility in the modern workforce, we set out to determine whether a gap exists between flexibility supply and demand. In other words, how many people need flexibility, and how many people actually have it? To find out, we surveyed 1,583 white-collar professionals representative of the U.S. workforce at large.

We predicted that a flexibility gap would exist, and our results validated that hypothesis: 96% of employees said they need flexibility, yet only 47% reported having access to the types of flexibility they need — a gap of 54%. This gap is even more pronounced for women, only 34% of whom have access to the flexibility they need. (According to their reports, men and women were almost equal in their need for flexibility: 97% of men and 95% of women said they needed it.) Of the employees who did report having access to some flexibility, only 19% said they had access to structured flexibility programs. A structured flexibility program is one in which employees have a range of flexibility options to choose from and those options are broadly communicated across an organization.

More specifically, our survey measured six distinct types of flexibility:
— Leer en hbr.org/2018/06/96-of-u-s-professionals-say-they-need-flexibility-but-only-47-have-it


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