If you are thinking that only women seek flexibility and remote-working jobs, a recent survey will tell you that you are wrong. Flexibility is sought after by men too in corporate America. In fact, both men and women rank ‘flexibility’ amongst the top three employee benefits.
This much-appreciated flexibility comes from remote or hybrid work models, as well as work options that allow professionals to set their own convenient work hours.
When it comes to working mothers, ‘flexibility’ encompasses not just the location they work from but also the hours they devote to work and the time of the day or night. Therefore, it is not surprising that mothers, especially those with very young children, tend to rank flexible scheduling as a top employee benefit. Without flexibility, 38 per cent working mothers admit that they would have probably quit their jobs or opted to work less hours.
McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace 2023 report reveals that both men and women value flexibility today. They find ‘flexibility’ vital because remote working and flexible schedules allow them to have more control over where and when they work. For most men and women, flexible schedule comes second only to healthcare benefits provided by the employer.
In fact, most prefer it over other popular benefits such as parental leave and childcare! A significant 50 per cent of women and one third of men rank ‘flexibility in terms of when and where employees work’ amongst the top three factors that will determine their company’s future success.
Today flexibility is no longer just a good-to-have policy. It has become a crucial benefit for most men and women, with women of course valuing it way more than men. This is simply because women continue to shoulder much of the childcare responsibilities and perform most of the household chores.
Therefore, understandably, 83 per cent women and 79 per cent men value healthcare benefits. While 78 per cent women seek remote-work opportunities, only about 60 per cent men seek the same. While 68 per cent women wish for control over when they work, only 54 per cent men wish the same.
Thirty-eight per cent women seek mental-health benefits compared to 24 per cent men. About 25 per cent women would appreciate bereavement leave, while only 18% men seek it. Parental leave is sought by 22 per cent women and only 17 per cent men. Childcare is a valuable benefit for 22 per cent women compared to 15 per cent men. About 12 per cent women seek on-site work opportunities, while more men (14 per cent) seek the same.
The report reveals other very interesting facts. One is that women today are more confident with flexible schedules than they were two years ago.
Flexible schedules and remote working have brought stress levels down for both women and men. A good 53 per cent of women professionals and 36 per cent of men admit to a reduction in pressure because they no longer have to manage their personal style or appearance at work.
Twenty-nine percent of working women and 25 per cent of working men who have been following the remote-work model admit that it is one of the biggest benefits because it reduces the number of unpleasant interactions with coworkers.