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Is Flexibility The Most Important Perk?


When we surveyed consultants about the best firms in their industries, many of the companies that got to the top did so on the strength of their cultures.

Often, those cultures included flexible schedules.

Most employees appreciate being able to work from home some days or having the flexibility to set their own hours. Over the past few years, companies have become more aware, and more vocal, about their cultures in order to attract and retain employees. And work/life balance has been a topic in homes and headlines for far longer.

Nonetheless, telecommuting is not as widespread as many expected, ten years ago, that it would be.

Numerous studies show that working from home does not make people less productive. And many jobs can be done even more efficiently outside of an office filled with interruptions and distractions, as anyone who works in an office with an open floor plan can attest.

Other studies have found that employees who have flexible schedules are better rested—and we all know that means being more productive.

In some companies, as Rebecca J. Rosen noted recently in an article in The Atlantic, there is a flexibility stigma. Employees who work at home might work longer hours to prove that they are being productive.

Flexible schedules may be less of a bottom-line issue and more one of perception.

Tell us about your own experience in the comments below, or take our survey. If you work for a company that has flexible schedules, does it impact your job satisfaction? If your company doesn’t, would you consider leaving your job to join a company that does? What challenges have you had working at home, or managing employees who do?

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About the Author

Susan Price has been writing about careers, entrepreneurs and personal finance for more than a decade. She’s been an editor at BusinessWeek, Money, and, among others.