With Valentine’s Day approaching, FlexJobs conducted a Work-Life-Relationship survey of over 1,400 flexible job seekers to determine how flexible work arrangements might impact not only the mental and physical health of workers, but also their friendships and romantic relationships. The findings indicate that flexible jobs can significantly improve overall personal health and happiness for workers. A “flexible job” is defined as a professional-level job that has a telecommuting, flexible schedule, freelance, or part-time component.
“Flexible work arrangements can reduce the tension many workers experience between trying to manage a multitude of competing personal and professional responsibilities," said Sara Sutton Fell, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs. “While it’s commonly understood that work flexibility can improve work-life balance, it’s important to also realize that flexible work also offers very real positive impacts on our ability to take care of ourselves, our loved ones, and our relationships through, for example, reducing commute-related stress and time, less conflict in scheduling between our work and personal lives, and the ability to better control our work environments to increase productivity. The benefits of work flexibility can make us happier, healthier, and more engaged in both our personal AND work lives, and smart companies are increasingly realizing this helps their bottom lines as well.”
In the FlexJobs Work-Life-Relationship survey, more than half (55 percent) of job seekers report their work-life balance is terrible or needs improvement and 68 percent feel stressed by their current work-life balance. The top reasons they are interested in flexible work include work-life balance (69 percent), money/cost savings (51 percent), time savings (50 percent) and stress reduction (40 percent).
When it comes to their personal health and non-romantic relationships:
- 94 percent thought having a flexible job would have a positive impact on their personal life.
- 90 percent thought a flexible job would help them take better care of themselves.
- 89 percent believed it would decrease their levels of stress.
- 63 percent thought it would increase the frequency they exercised.
- 87 percent said it would create more time to spend with family or friends.
- 68 percent thought it would help them be a better friend.
Regarding their romantic relationships:
- 46 percent thought having a flexible job would improve their sex life, and another 28 percent were optimistic it would.
- 83 percent thought it would help them be a more attentive spouse/partner/significant other.
- 50 percent thought it would increase time available for dates/date nights.
- 51 percent said it would benefit their romantic relationships, and another 26 percent were hopeful it would.
From among the audiences surveyed, working parents in particular show great interest in flexible work arrangements, as many struggle to balance the pressing demands of both their career and raising children. In fact, of the more than 550 respondents with children 18 and under living at home, 93 percent thought having a job with work flexibility would help them be a more involved parent.
Working parents also anticipated greater benefits of work flexibility to their romantic relationships:
- Nearly half of working parents thought (49 percent) having a flexible job would improve their sex life, and another 28 percent were optimistic it would
- 87 percent thought it would help them be a more attentive spouse/partner/significant other
- 53 percent thought it would increase time available for dates/date nights
- 55 percent said it would benefit their romantic relationships, and another 27 percent were hopeful it would
- 100 percent telecommuting remains the most popular choice for flexible work for job seekers (72 percent), ranked well above flexible schedules as second preference (52 percent). Part-time schedule (36 percent) and freelance work (34 percent) are also in demand.
*Demographic breakdown of respondents: Generation: Millennial (23 percent); Gen X (42 percent); Baby Boomer 27 percent and The Silent Generation (8 percent). Relationship status: Not currently in a relationship (24 percent), Dating (3 percent), Serious/Engaged (18 percent), Married (55 percent). Children: 63 percent have children and 37 percent do not have children.
FlexJobs is the leading online service for professionals seeking telecommuting, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs. With flexible job listings in over 50 career categories, and opportunities ranging from entry-level to executive and freelance to full-time, FlexJobs offers job seekers a safe, easy, and efficient way to find professional and legitimate flexible job listings. Having helped over two million people in their job searches, FlexJobs has appeared on CNN, CNBC and Marketplace Money and in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME, Forbes, Fortune, Fast Company and hundreds of other trusted media outlets. FlexJobs' Founder & CEO Sara Sutton Fell has also launched two additional partner sites, Remote.co and 1 Million for Work Flexibility, to help provide education and awareness about the viability and benefits of remote working and work flexibility. Sutton Fell is also the creator of The TRaD* Works Conference (*Telecommuting, Remote, & Distributed), dedicated to helping companies leverage the benefits of telecommuting, remote and distributed teams.