After three years of fully remote and hybrid work arrangements, U.S. workers no longer consider such flexibility a rare luxury. A new Conference Board survey finds that the majority of U.S. workers consider workplace flexibility a basic element of a competitive compensation package.
The Conference Board survey of more than 1,500 U.S. workers, mostly office workers, found that half of people are satisfied with their current compensation and that among non-salary elements, two in three say workplace flexibility, including location and hours, are important. By a slim margin, they rate such flexibility as being more important than competitive bonuses, paid time off, retirement plans or healthcare options, according to the survey.
“The drumbeat of ‘return to office’ has faded to a new reality: Flexibility, in one form or another, is here to stay,” said Diana Scott, leader of The Conference Board’s Human Capital Center. “A year ago, many foresaw an impending recession that would loosen the job market and compel workers back toward the pre-pandemic normal. Instead, 2023 has seen a remarkably resilient economy continue to empower workers — and workers value flexible work arrangements.”
In The Conference Board’s previous survey on this topic, workplace flexibility was the second most important non-salary compensation element, behind retirement plans, though both were among the top five during the previous survey in February 2022. In this iteration of the research, workplace flexibility was first (65%), followed by bonuses, commissions or incentive pay (64%), generous PTO (60%), retirement plan contributions/company matches (59%) and affordable healthcare plans (53%).