According to a recent survey, employees feel strongly that flexible job arrangements have a positive impact on their mental and physical health.
When 1,200 employees were asked an array of questions about how their work life affects their mental and physical health, as well as their relationships, stress level, and other issues, 89% said that flexibility would help them take better care of themselves. At the same time, 87% said it would enable them to spend more time with family; and 81% said it might even make them a better spouse or partner.
Among other results from the survey:
· 76% of respondents said they thought a flexible schedule would enable them to be more available to their friends and improve their social lives.
· 61% of those with children (or planning to have children in the future) said increased work flexibility would likely help them be a better parent.
· 55% of those with pets said a flexible job would enable them to be a better pet owner.
· 97% who said they have some psychiatric issues said flexibility at work would be help improve their mental health.
· 88% said they believe a flexible schedule would decrease their stress level; and 69% said it would enable them to exercise more.
· 70% of respondents said that work has interfered with their efforts to take care of their health.
Despite employees’ enthusiasm for flexibility, only 9% of survey respondents said their boss’s work habits contributed to a successful work-life balance. About a third (36%) said their boss doesn’t model a healthy work-balance for employees.
Depending on the job or position, “flexible” might mean remote, freelance, or part-time work; alternative schedules; or non-traditional/personalized schedules. Clearly, many jobs in the post-acute and long-term care space can’t be performed off-site, but employers may want to consider other alternatives such as longer shifts and shorter weeks (such as four 12-hour days followed by three days off) or schedules that accommodate school holidays and vacations. It also may be helpful to partner with nearby childcare facilities, adult day care centers, and even “doggie” day care programs to enable employees to visit with their offspring, older relatives, and pets during breaks.
Flexibility not only can help you retain good employees and keep them healthy and engaged, it can contribute to recruiting talent as well. If you offer flexible schedules or work arrangements, consider including this information in your job ads and promoting it on social media.