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American research taking in thousands of workers finds huge demand for flexible working and widespread belief it can help with mental health
Flexible working can help employees manage stress and mental illness.
And those with a flexible working arrangement are twice as likely to report having a good work life balance.
A large new US survey of thousands of workers found overwhelming demand for more flexible working.
Of 2,100 respondents with a mental illness, such as anxiety or depression, 84 percent thought having a flexible job would help them manage their condition better.
In addition, 35 per cent of the overall pool of 3,900 respondents said they have had to take a break from work because of difficult personal circumstances (such as a bereavement, divorce or a serious physical or mental illness of themselves or a loved one). Of those, 88 per cent believed that if their job had offered flexibility, they could have remained in the workforce.
‘Flexible work can play a very positive role in supporting employees who have mental health issues or who are going through difficult life circumstances’, said Sara Sutton, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs, the American company that carried out the research. ‘Allowing employees to work flexibly reduces the conflict that we all experience between our personal and professional lives, and equips everyone to better meet their mental, emotional and physical needs.’
54 per cent of respondents with flexible work options said their work life balance is either great or very good, compared to only 29 per cent of respondents without flexible work options. 21 per cent of respondents with flexible work options say they’re currently stressed about their level of work life balance, compared to 43 per cent of those without flexible options.
The most popular option for flexible working was 100% remote working. Four out of five respondents picked that arrangement as their preferred work set up.
The findings reflect the results of our latest employee survey that found many workers would like more flexible working.