About 5 years ago we quit using the term "work/life balance" in our work and starting using "work/life flexibility" instead. We did this because almost everyone we interviewed described balance as having a flexible work schedule.
Today it seems it's all about flexibility.
A recent survey by Mom Corps as reported by Business News Daily found that nearly half of the repondents would give up an average of nearly 10 percent of their salary for a more flexible work schedule.
Companies want flexibility too. According to another Business News Daily article a survey by staffing agency Randstaff found that more than 70 percent of organizations using contingent workers say the flexibility of the contingent workforce has allowed their business to remain nimble during economic ups and downs.
Adding to this, the recent 2nd Annual MBO Partners State of Independence study shows that flexibility and control are key reasons people choose to become independent workers (freelancers, self-employed, etc.).
I did a cut of the State of Independence survey data (we partnered with MBO Partners on this study) looking at independent workers who chose to be independent (57% of all respondents said they chose to become an independent worker). The top 3 reasons they list for being a independent worker are:
- 71% - control my schedule
- 69% - more flexibility
- 67% - like being my own boss
So it's pretty clear most everyone wants more flexibility.
It's also clear that high performers are increasingly choosing to leave traditional employment and become independent workers. Information Week's IT Free Agency: A Migraine for Managers describes how this issue is hitting big company IT shops.
So my question is why aren't companies responding and allowing more workplace flexibility?