Flexible Work Options Positively Impact Mental Health
According to the results of a recent Work-Life-Relationship survey, 84% of the 2,100 respondents who have mental illnesses, such as anxiety or depression, said they thought that having a flexible job would help them better manage their mental illnesses.
In addition, 35% of the overall pool of 3,900 respondents said they have had to take a break from work because of difficult personal circumstances (i.e., death, divorce, serious physical or mental illness of themselves or a loved one, etc.). Of those, 88% said that if their job had offered flexibility during those circumstances, they would have been able to remain in the workforce.
The survey findings confirm flexible work can play a very positive role in supporting employees who have mental health issues or who are going through difficult life circumstances. According to Mental Health America, more than half of the employees are afraid to take a day off to attend to their mental health. 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. I believe flexible work can help improve the health and happiness of our nation's workforce and our communities.
83% said that work has conflicted with their efforts to take care of their overall health. However, flexible work arrangements can have a positive impact not only on managing mental health, but also on improving work-life balance, physical health, romantic relationships, and overall well-being. More findings on these topics below.
Flexible jobs and work-life balance
Work-life balance tops the reasons people seek flexible jobs (67%). Management heavily influences how workers achieve work-life balance, varying significantly between those who currently have flexible work options and those who do not.
54% of respondents with flexible work options said their work-life balance was either great or very good, compared to only
29% of respondents without flexible work options who reported the same thing
21% of respondents with flexible work options say they’re currently stressed by their level of work-life balance, while more than double that,
43%, working without flexible options said the same thing
35% with flexible work options said “My boss’s work habits make work-life balance easy for me” compared to only
14% of those without flexible work options who said the same thing
27% with flexible work options said “My boss’s habits make work-life balance difficult for me” but
40% of those without flexible work options said their boss’ habits make work-life balance difficult for them
Flexible jobs and personal health
95% of respondents reported that a flexible job would likely make them a happier person in general
89% thought it would help them take better care of themselves
86% believed it would decrease their levels of stress
67% thought it would increase the frequency they exercised
Flexible jobs and non-romantic relationships
88% of respondents said having a flexible job would create more time to spend with family
78% thought it would help them be more available for friendships in their life
94% of those with children (or plan to have children someday) thought a job with work flexibility would help them be a better parent
85% of those with pets said it would help them be a better pet owner
Flexible jobs and romantic relationships:
64% of respondents said having a flexible job would likely benefit their romantic relationship overall
64% said it would likely improve their sex life
80% thought that having a job with work flexibility would help them be a more attentive spouse/partner/significant other
53% thought it would increase time available for dates/date nights
Among other findings, 100% remote work remains the most popular choice for flexible work (80%) for the fifth year in a row, with flexible schedules a second preference (55%), followed by remote work some of the time (4%), part-time schedules (34%), and freelance work (32%).
Companies in the U.S. have added the most workers since May 2015, making it a robust market for job seekers. For people interested in finding remote jobs, FlexJobs recently announced the Top 100 Companies for Remote Jobs in 2020.