Remote or bust: 30% of workers have left a job due to lack of flexibility

Flexible work options are crucial to retaining top talent, according to a FlexJobs survey

How millennials and Gen Z are transforming the enterprise through flexible work Karen Roby talks with Lisa Walker about how millennials and Gen Z are reshaping the workforce. The Flex Summit promoted by Fuze in Boston will bring company leaders together to better understand how flexible work concepts will help drive the enterprise into the future.

One-third of workers said they have left a job because the company didn't offer flexible work opportunities like working from home and flexible scheduling, according to FlexJobs' annual survey released Wednesday. Currently, 16% of employees said they are searching for a new job because of flexibility issues. 

The report surveyed more than 7,300 employees to determine how work flexibility affects career decisions. The majority (80%) of employees admitted that they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options. And, more than half (52%) of respondents said they have tried to negotiate flexible work arrangements with their companies, the report found. 

SEE: Managing remote workers: A business leader's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic Premium)

"In a tight labor market, companies cannot afford to ignore the value employees place on having flexible work options, but leaders also can't dismiss the very real bottom-line impact offering flexibility has on their employees' productivity and retention rates," Sara Sutton, founder and CEO of FlexJobs, said in a press release. "The flexible job market is currently very robust, so flexible job seekers are also feeling empowered to seek jobs that are more compatible with their life. In fact, 80% of job seekers say they are confident in their flexible job prospects."

Every year since the report was first conducted in 2013, the following four factors have always been reported as the top reasons people seek flexible work: 

  • Work-life balance (75%)
  • Family (45%)
  • Time savings (42%)
  • Commute stress (41%)

Some 65% of workers said they are more productive working outside of a traditional office environment, the report found. They cited fewer distractions (74%), fewer interruptions from colleagues (72%), reduced stress from commuting (70%, and minimal office politics (64%) as their main reasons. 

A lack of flexible work options also can have negative side effects on an employee's physical and mental health, which is why remote work and flexible schedules are becoming the new normal for global businesses

The majority (78%) of employees said that having a flexible job would allow them to live a healthier life, and 86% said they would be far less stressed, the report found. 

Nearly half (44%) of respondents said a flexible job would spark a "huge improvement" in their quality of life, with 53% saying it would have a "positive impact." 

For more, check out Why companies that ban remote work only hurt themselves on TechRepublic. 

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By Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.