Although a popular phrase says that we can’t have our cake and eat it too, 67 percent of workers recently surveyed disagree. The results from the second annual Labor Day Workplace Study, sponsored by Mom Corps, are in and two-thirds of the more than 1,000 working adults surveyed say that they can “have it all” when it comes to work life balance and the figures were nearly identical for both men and women.
One way that working adults can achieve this work/life balance is through flexible work options. Flexible work options are so important, in fact, that 45 percent of those surveyed would give up part of their salary to have more flexibility at work. How much salary would survey participants be willing to give up? The answer may surprise you; the average answer was a 10 percent reduction in salary in order to have more flexibility at work.
Flexible work options, as defined by the scope of this survey, include teleworking, shifting work hours and even having a shorter workweek. Flexibility is most important to working parents; 81 percent of working parents surveyed feel that flexible work options allow them to be a better parent and 71 percent consider flexibility in the workplace the most important factor when looking for a new job.
If you’d rather stick with your current job than search for a position with more flexibility, it doesn’t mean that you have to live with an inflexible work environment. Allison O’Kelly, founder and CEO of Mom Corps, has some great advice for employees who want to approach management and request more flexibility in their schedule.
"When approaching your manager about flexible work options, present him or her with a plan that addresses reasons you anticipate he or she might rebuff your request. Include how you propose to interact with or manage team members from outside the office, how you can be reached at all times during work hours, how you have set up a dedicated at-home office environment, what schedule you think works best for the team dynamic, etc. Ask for a trial period and give yourself a chance to prove to the company that flexible work options can work. This also makes it more difficult for your supervisor to turn down a permanent option if there haven’t been disruptions in work during that time."