A new study on workplace flexibility finds that employers and their employees don't necessarily see eye-to-eye when it comes to the balance of work and personal life. According to the research, while two-thirds (67 percent) of employers feel workers have a strong work/life balance, less than half (45 percent) of their employees say the same thing.
Titled "2015 Workplace Flexibility Study," the survey drew on the responses of 1,087 professionals as well as 116 HR professionals. It comes from HR network WorkplaceTrends.com and recruitment firm CareerArc.
The report finds that the sense that work is taking over a greater part of workers' lives may be rooted in fast-evolving technology. A full 65 percent of employees say their manager expects them to be reachable outside the office during personal time, while one in five respondents report spending more than 20 hours working outside the office during personal time.
"Technology has expanded the 9-to-5 workday into the 24/7 workday, which has made it extremely difficult for employees to have personal time," said Dan Schawbel, founder of WorkplaceTrends.com, in a statement. "Companies are being forced to react to this work life dilemma by investing more in their programs in 2015. In the future, every company will have a flexibility program and those that don't will lose the battle for the top talent."
Despite these concerns, companies report a concerted effort to enhance employee flexibility programs. A majority of companies (53 percent) plan to invest more in flexibility benefits programs in the coming year. This would seem a wise choice considering the importance that respondents placed on workplace flexibility. Seventy-five percent of workers cited workplace flexibility as a top benefit, while just 50 percent of employers expected employees to rank that as a top concern.
"Companies need to remember that organizations, ultimately, are made up of people," said Robin Richards, CEO of CareerArc. "HR leaders do a great job of putting the 'human' in human capital, but it is clear that more can be done to create a dialogue with employees to understand their needs and wants from a flexibility and work-life balance perspective."