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Study: Men value work flexibility, too

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

For years, conventional wisdom held that women far more than men took advantage of flexible working arrangements to balance work/life responsibilities. Now comes a new study revealing that male employees feel equally empowered to use programs that allow flexibility in how, when and where work happens.

The Working Mother Research Institute—affiliated with Working Mother magazine—found that 77% of men have some degree of flexibility in their work schedules, and that 79% of those men feel comfortable using flex benefits.

The study, titled “How Men Flex: The Working Mother Report,” found that 59% of working dads would choose part-time work if they could still have a meaningful career. However, 36% of them believe their organization’s leaders would look down on men making that choice.

A different study, by the Society for Human Resource Management, found that about half of U.S. employers formally offer part-time and reduced-hours schedules. Flex-time—in which employees can vary their schedules as long as they’re at their workstations during core hours—is an option for 54% of employees. Telecommuting is available in 39% of organizations.

Some of the key findings from the “How Men Flex” report:

  • 85% of dads who work flexibly spend the extra time taking care of family.
  • 74% of men surveyed believe “a parent should be home with children after school.”
  • Survey respondents who work from home more often are more likely to feel that their work commitment is questioned by others. Sixty percent of respondents who work from home five days per week say they feel that way, compared with 43% who work from home one or two days per week and 41% who use flex generally.
  • 39% of men say they would like to be a stay-at-home parent.

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