Nearly One-Third of Workers Have Quit Due to Non-Flexible Work Options

80% of job seekers believe they can find the flexible job opportunity they crave
A man works from home and pets his dog

Some employees aren’t just hoping for the chance to telecommute or rearrange their schedules to promote work-life balance; many are willing to leave their jobs if they don’t get the flexible options they want, a new survey shows.

While there’s little doubt that salaries are important to most employees, many workers value other benefits such as the ability to control their schedule. Employment search site FlexJobs sought to gain insight into how important flexibility is to the nation’s workforce by surveying more than 7,300 respondents at different levels of their career. Among the pool of respondents, 13% were entry-level employees, 54% were experienced and 33% were managers or senior level managers.

A substantial percentage of respondents are so serious about having flexible options that they are willing to change jobs to make that a reality. In fact, 30% of respondents said they have left a job because they did not have enough job flexibility to suit them. On top of that, 16% of respondents said they were in the process of looking for a new job because they wanted an employment opportunity that gave them more control over their time and work schedule.

Some respondents have appealed to their current employers before looking elsewhere, as 52% said they’ve tried to secure a more flexible work schedule from their managers. Those employers might be well-served by listening, as 80% of respondents said they would be more loyal to an employer that met their flexibility needs.

Strong job market boosts confidence to meet flexibility desires

Employees may be willing to take action in search of more flexibility because they believe they can have what they want, the survey suggests. An overwhelming 80% of respondents who were seeking jobs said they were confident that they would be able to find what they were looking for.

When it comes to workplace flexibility, employees have varying ideas about the ideal situation. Most -- 76% -- said they would welcome 100% telecommuting, followed by 72% who would like the ability to set a flexible work schedule, 46% who want to be able to work part-time and 39% who would prefer the ability to freelance.

A majority of respondents -- 65% -- said working from home would allow them to be more productive. In fact, when asked about why a home office trumps the workplace, 74% said there were fewer distractions, 72% said they would be interrupted less frequently by colleagues, 70% pointed to reduced stress from a lack of commuting and 64% cited the benefit of having a minimal amount of office politics to contend with.

If you’re looking for more job flexibility, now might be the time to make a career move since surveys show that remote work is becoming more and more common. Telecommuting can also benefit your life in other ways. For example, it can help you save money faster since you won’t be spending as much money on gas and you may be able to budget less for a work wardrobe. If you’re trying to convince your boss to let you have a more flexible schedule, point out the ways such a move would benefit the company. For example, without the burden of commuting, you might be able to take early-morning phone calls with clients overseas.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.