employment

Workers willing to give up a lot for flextime

Aug. 30, 2012 at 8:33 AM ET

Give me more workplace flexibility, or give me death.

Well, maybe not death. But it turns out employees are willing to sacrifice a lot in exchange for more flexibility at work.

A survey by staffing company Mom Corps released Thursday found that so-called "workflex opportunities" are worth more than money for some employees.

Here are some of the findings from Mom Corps’ second annual Labor Day poll, conducted by Harris Interactive:

  • Nearly half of working adults surveyed (45 percent) are willing to give up some percentage of their salary for more flexibility at work.
  • And they’re willing to give back nearly 9 percent of their wages on average, an uptick from the amount they would be willing to fork over in last year's survey (5.8 percent).

“We are beginning to see significant patterns in the value professionals of all ages place on workplace flexibility,” said Allison O’Kelly, founder and CEO of Mom Corps. “More and more, we feel challenged by the collective pressures of a demanding work life, a hectic personal life and a desire to find fulfillment in both.”

Unfortunately, according to Families and Work Institute (FWI) data, workflex arrangements aren’t exactly exploding in the workplace to meet the demand.

Only 3 percent of wage and salary employees work mainly from home, said Ken Matos, senior director of employment research and practice at the Institute, and co-author of the forthcoming book “WORKFLEX: The Essential Guide to Effective and Flexible Workplaces.”

And of those employees who do not get to work part of their regular paid hours at home, 50 percent would like to.

Employees are so serious about finding the right flexible options at work that nearly 90 percent of the workers FWI surveyed said that when they look for a new job workflex will be “extremely” or “very important” in their decision process, according to Matos, who will be taking questions about workflex options and how to get them from NBCNews.com readers during a live web chat Thursday at noon ET.

Mom Corps’ survey results bolstered FWI’s findings that flex time is a high priority.

Their poll found many employees, 52 percent, would consider starting their own business in order to find the flexibility they crave, with men age 35 to 44 the most anxious to do this at 75 percent.

Despite the gloomy work-flex landscape today, however, 67 percent of employees agree it is possible to "have it all" when it comes to work-life fit.

Who says American workers aren’t optimistic?

Eve Tahmincioglu is a career blogger and director of communications at the Families and Work Institute.

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