Results of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2014 Strategic Benefits Survey suggests that while more companies are offering flexible working arrangements, few employees are taking advantage of them.
In the survey, which included the responses of 380 SHRM members, 52% revealed that their organizations provided employees the option of flexible work arrangements in 2014. However, only 33% reported that the majority of their employees were actually allowed to use them. This compares to participation rates of 45% in 2013 and is on par with the 34% seen in 2012.
“More employees may feel comfortable using the [flexible work arrangements] they have access to if the job market continues to improve and concerns about job security diminish,” the report said. However, Evren Esen, SHRM director of survey programs, noted that “it is important to understand the obstacles that may be impacting employee participation rates in flexible work arrangements,” adding that “there needs to be support from management and leadership in order for more employees to participate in flexible work arrangements.”
As such, Esen encouraged HR to work with line managers to “model flexibility in their own approaches to work and to demonstrate that those who do make use of flexible work arrangements are not penalized when it comes to promotions and career opportunities.”