The Importance of Job Flexibility

According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, "flex-time is the most popular alternative work schedule offered by the responding companies, with two-thirds of the companies offering such a benefit." As well, a new University of Illinois study reports "that the mother's education is the most important factor, followed by her employment in jobs that offer either standard daytime hours or some flexibility." Because of changes in our lifestyles, having a flexible work schedule has become an important part of a career. This is due to an increase in two income households, raising children, and the need to find a healthy balance in one's life.

Flexibility options can include meal flexibility, part-time work, time for family responsibilities, number of vacation days each year, being allowed to leave work late or early, providing options for extended unpaid vacations, job sharing, and working from a remote location such as at home. More companies are now realizing that providing "flexible" work schedules helps them acquire qualified employees. Basically, a nine-to-five schedule just does not work for many people.

Most employees enjoy having flexible work schedules. Many employers have discovered that providing flexible work schedules helps increase worker productivity, increase morale, retain employees, and decreasing training expenses.

There are not that many jobs that are as flexible as nursing. Nurses have the ability to work part time, full time, or not all when they are raising small children or attending post secondary school full time for a certain period of time. As well, work hours can vary from 4, 8, 10, or 12 hour shifts. A nurse can also work weekdays, weekends, nights, mornings, or afternoons.

Nurses have a lot of flexibility about where they can work. A nurse can work in any part of the country in an urban or rural area. Nurses can work in different countries and if one have a spouse that receives a work transfer, finding a new job in the new location will be easy. A nurse suffering from burnout often has the flexibility to move to a less demanding nursing field. There are also a lot of opportunities to advance one's career.

Another medical area that has a flexible schedule is Therapists. Flexibility can include the number of days, number of hours, full time or part time, short term or long term, and evenings or weekends. Therapists also have flexible vacation time and often set their own hours.

A telephone survey conducted by Roper Starch found "that employees want to balance competing work and family responsibilities. Fifty one percent of employees said they would stay at their current job rather than switch if their employer offered flexible working hours." There is no doubt that our lives have become very hectic with activities associated with work, family, and other personal responsibilities. Job flexibility is an important resource for maintaining job satisfaction and a good quality of life. A career with flexibility such as nursing and therapy makes life much less stressful allowing one to improve productivity and enjoy life with family and friends.


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