Stay Flexible or Risk Losing Your Professionals

New i4cp Study Says “Flex Work” Boosts Morale, Retention

SEATTLE, WA (Mar 21 , 2008) – If you can’t be flexible, then stay out of the management suite. Otherwise, you might have a tough time hanging onto your most talented people, suggests a recent study by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp).

Flex work is being fostered in the business arena as a means to boost employee morale and increase retention. But who’s most likely to request such arrangements? Fully 73% of those who responded to the survey said that “employees in professional roles” request these types of arrangements. The study also shows that the employee groups considered most “conducive” to flex work are those in professional roles, followed by those in technical and clerical positions.

“It’s little wonder that companies offer flex work,” said Mark Vickers, VP of Research at i4cp. “If they don’t, they’re probably more likely to lose out to their more limber competitors when wooing professional talent.”
View survey findings

According to the study, 73% of the 560 responding organizations offer “flextime” (flexible start/end times), while 60% offer part-time work opportunities and 33% provide a compressed workweek option.

Most agree such arrangements pay dividends. Seventy-six percent report that flex work arrangements boost employee morale and 64% say they bolster retention rates. Overall, flexible work options are becoming more common in companies. Forty five percent of the companies polled report that such option are expected to grow over the next year. Just 7% forecast a reduction in flex work programs.

Measuring the viability of flexible work arrangements is also a priority, the study shows. Sixty eight percent of respondents have established deadlines for flex workers and 64% keep close tabs on those project deadlines. Daily/weekly project status reports are required by 43% of responding organizations, and 27% require periodic status meetings.

Respondents thought that younger employees were more likely to request such arrangements than older workers, and women were seen as more likely to request them than men.

But staying flexible isn’t without its drawbacks, according to some respondents. More than a third of participants reported that flex arrangements frustrate those employee groups not eligible for flex time; and overall, 20% say such arrangements frustrate managers.

The Flexible Work Arrangement “Taking the Pulse” Survey was conducted by i4cp, in conjunction with, in February 2008.

About i4cp, inc.

i4cp is the world’s largest private network of corporations focused on improving workforce productivity. Our vendor-free community facilitates innovation by giving our members – among the largest and most respected organizations in the world – access to:
  1. Peers to spark new ideas and prevent “reinventing the wheel”
  2. Research to enable members to understand current practices and next practices
  3. Tools to put ideas and research into action
  4. Technology to enable members to easily access tailored information and execute workforce strategies.

With more than 40 years of experience and the industry’s largest team of human capital analysts, i4cp is the definitive destination for organizations seeking innovative ways to improve workforce productivity.


Greg Pernula
Director of Research Services, i4cp, inc.
(727) 345-2226

For more information contact
Bill Perry
i4cp, Inc.
(716) 652-1762