2Center or American Progress | Workplace Flexibility
Inflexible and unpredictable schedules make it difficult for workers to balance their jobs with family and personal needs.
Almos 30 percen o all Americans repor hav-ing work schedules wih varied daily sar and sop imes, wih 10 percen reporingschedules ha ucuae so much ha hey canno predic a ypical weekly work sched-ule.4 Tis is paricularly rue or low- and middle-income amilies—nearly 70 perceno low-income workers canno change heir scheduled sar or sop ime i needed.5
Only about half (55.9 percent) of workers can alter their schedule or the locationwhere they do their work should they need to.
Te abiliy o uilize exible schedul-ing increases wih salary—higher paid workers have more opions han low-wage work-ers. And Lainos are he leas likely o have workplace exibiliy o any racial or ehnicgroup. For example, only 44.1 percen o Hispanic workers have he abiliy o adjus heir work schedules when hey need o, compared o 53.7 percen o whies, 47.9 percen o Arican Americans, and 57.6 percen o Asians. Te higher a worker’s earnings, he morelikely hey are o be able o aler he schedule or locaion o heir work. Te same paternholds rue or educaion—workers wih a college degree are nearly wice as likely o beable o change heir schedule han hose wih less han a high school degree.
Predictable schedules can help workers provide or arrange for proper child and eldercare without paying for unnecessary care.
Ye companies ofen combine inexiblescheduling wih a “no aul” absence program, where workers receive poins or beinglae or skipping a shif, and can be red i hey garner enough poins. Tis sysem pus workers aced wih unoreseen emergencies—such as amily illness—a a disadvanage.
Current workplace policies put an unfair burden on workers’ time.
Low-income workers in hourly posiions are ofen required o have “maximum availabiliy,” wherehey are able o be scheduled or more hours han hey will acually work, in order o be considered ull-ime workers. o be a ull-ime employee a Sarbucks, or example, workers mus be available o be scheduled or a shif or 70 percen o business hoursor 80 hours each week.
Workers are spending more time at work today than they did a generation ago.
Teypical American middle-income amily worked an average o 11 more hours per week in 2009 han in 1979.
Around 40 percen o proessional men work more han 50hours per week bu 80 percen o hese men repored waning shorer hours.
Flexible workplaces are good for businesses and the economy.
Deloite’s oucheoshmasu, a proessional services consuling business, esimaed ha implemeningexible work arrangemens in 2003 resuled in savings o $41.5 million in reduced