News / Research

Are flexible work options utilized? Some snapshots of our survey results

FullbridgeProgram, Creative Commons

FullbridgeProgram, Creative Commons

In spring 2013 the personnel of two large Finnish organizations participating in CWL project responded to our flexiwork survey. The survey investigated, among other things, to what extent the employees of these two organizations utilize flexible work options. Below some interesting results of the survey.

Almost a quarter of the employees of the two sample organizations work at home or utilize temporal flexibility (e.g., change starting or quitting times or choose a work schedule that varies from a typical schedule) at least once a week. Only a few (less than 3%) say that they never work at home or use temporal flexibility options. Thus, it would seem that this kind of “traditional flexibility” option that organizations offer is quite well utilized – at least in organizations that we studied.

Citrixonline, Creative Commons

Citrixonline, Creative Commons

However, as it comes to less traditional spatial flexibility, or working in other places than just home, the figures dramatically drop: Only a few (less than two percent) of the employees report working while traveling (e.g., in another organization’s location, in a hotel, in public transportation, taxi or own car) once a week or more often. However, less than third of the employees say that they never work while traveling – that implies that most of the employees use other organizations’ locations, buses, taxes or hotels at least sometimes for work – however, only occasionally. As it comes to libraries, coffee houses or summer cottages as workplaces, in our sample over half of the employees say that they never use these places for work – only a little over one percent of the employees said that they worked in these kinds of places at least a few times a month.

In general, when evaluating these results, it should be kept in mind that there is a huge variation of use of flexible work options within both organizations that participated in our survey – some people utilize work flexibility significantly more than others. Indeed, we were able to point out certain characteristics that employees who utilize flexiwork options often have. More about that next time: stay tuned!

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