Workplace flexibility has been an increasingly popular workplace perk among all kinds of workers. But now new research sheds light on just how important it is for working parents — and how it influences whether or not they accept a job offer.
In a survey conducted by Flexjobs, an online flexible job search site, working parents cited work flexibility as the most important factor when looking for a job, cited by an overwhelming 84%. Work/life balance came in second at 80%, and salary — despite stagnant wages in the American workforce — ranked only as the third consideration, with 75%.
Interestingly, health insurance garnered 42% of the vote, while company reputation (39%) and 401(k)/retirement benefits (29%) trailed behind.
Flexjobs surveyed 1,200 working parents with children at home under the age of 18 about their preferences when finding a new job. According to its findings, 91% of survey participants respond that having children living at home affects their interest in finding a new job.
Interestingly, the same parents who are interested in flexibility are not concerned that taking a more flexible job will negatively impact their careers in the future. Only 4% of surveyed working moms and dads say they are “very concerned” that a flexible work arrangement will slow or stop their career path.
Meanwhile, the survey also looked at the most popular flexible work options for parents. The most in-demand was 100% telecommuting jobs, where the employee works from home and not in an office all of the time (89% of survey responses). “Flexible schedules” earned 74% of survey-takers’ hearts and “part-time schedules” won 51%. “Partial telecommuting” weighed in at 49%, so-called “alternative schedules” won 49% approval with “freelancing” in last place with 42% of survey responses.
Job-seeking parents are not solely thinking about their children, however. The survey respondents view a flexible job as helping themselves in the long run. “They’re keenly aware of how work flexibility can impact their quality of life when it comes to health and stress,” according to a Flexjobs blog post about the survey.
Working parents overwhelmingly believe — 98% — that having a job with flexibility would have a positive impact on their overall quality of life. When it comes to anxiety, 87% of respondents think a flexible job would allow them to be less stressed, and 78% think it would make them healthier. And with every job, the wallet and pocketbook does come into account. A solid 88% think that a flexible job would save them money over an office position.
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