Love, Family Drive Desire for Flexible Work Schedules

Survey after survey has shown that tech pros really want flexible work schedules. But what will they do with that flexibility? A new survey by FlexJobs suggests that workers’ plans for their scheduling freedom are incredibly varied, ranging from exercise to more family time. (For the purposes of the survey, which racked up some 1,200 respondents, a “flexible job” is defined as a “professional-level job that has a remote, flexible schedule, freelance, or part-time component.”)

Much of the interest in flexible hours seemed to revolve around self-care, with 89 percent of respondents saying such a schedule would help them take better care of themselves; another 88 percent believed it would reduce their levels of stress. Smaller percentages thought flexibility would make them a better parent or pet owner. Check out the chart:

Around 81 percent thought that a flexible schedule would help them become a more attractive spouse or partner (it’s Valentine’s Day, by the way!), and 50 percent said it would increase their time for date nights (Valentine’s Day! Rush out and buy, buy, buy!).

Despite that interest in flexible schedules, some 54 percent of respondents said their work-life balance needed improvement, or else was outright terrible; some 36 percent said their bosses didn’t “model good work-life balance,” while a mere 9 percent said their boss’s work habits made it easier for them to achieve their own work-life balance.

“As our survey demonstrates, those in leadership roles influence how their employees view work-life balance. In fact, only 9 percent say their boss’s work habits make work-life balance easy,” Sara Sutton, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs, wrote in a statement accompanying the data. “It’s important that good work-life balance is modeled from the top down, especially considering the positive impact that a happy and healthy workforce can have on productivity as well as company culture.”

The FlexJobs survey’s findings mirror that of other studies,including the recent Dice Salary Survey. Some 73 percent of tech pros told Dice that flexible hours were important to them, even though only 49 percent reported receiving that benefit from their employers.

As tech pros’ annual salaries level off, companies pay prove more amenable to negotiating for benefits and perks rather than cash. Although your boss might not want to give you a $20,000 raise next year, they might prove only too happy to give you the opportunity to work from home, or work according to your own schedule. It never hurts to ask.