Career Center Blog

February 25, 2013

Can flexible work hours help your love life?


NWjobs

One of the most sought-after perks cited by job seekers is the ability to control their hours at work. Decent pay and quality health care are always high on the list, of course, but flexibility in their daily schedule is another benefit that is almost universally embraced by the general workforce.

The popularity is understandable, given the positive aspects of a flexible schedule, such as improved worker morale, more free time, greater engagement at work, improved productivity, shorter commute times, a better love life ... Wait, what? How can choosing your own hours affect your bedroom activities?

Researchers at FlexJobs, a job-listing site that focuses on 50 categories of part-time, telecommuting and freelance positions, did a similar double-take when they analyzed results of their latest Work-Life-Relationship Survey. The company asked 1,000 respondents a series of questions about how flexible work arrangements affected their personal lives.

As expected, 95 percent of those answering the survey said that flexible hours would make them happier with their jobs. What surprised even the researchers, however, were the impacts that a little bit of scheduling freedom could have on more personal matters:

  • 82 percent said flexible hours would make them more attentive spouses or partners

  • 49 percent said their romantic relationships would improve, while 30 percent said they were "hopeful" about romance

  • 47 percent expected to go on more dates or schedule "date nights" with their spouses

  • 41 percent thought their sex lives would improve; 34 percent were at least "optimistic" about their chances

"Some of the results of this survey really took us by surprise," says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of FlexJobs. "We hadn't really considered on a broad scale how having a flexible job could positively affect people's love lives and romantic relationships as well."

As if the promise of romance wasn't enough, the survey also showed that the possibility of healthier relationships from flexible scheduling can also lead to healthier minds and bodies. According to the survey, 82 percent of respondents said that flextime would reduce their stress levels. Nearly 9 in 10 said they would have more time to care for themselves, in general, and 65 percent said they would exercise more.

"Increasing your staff's overall health and well-being should be an eye opener for any employer on the fence regarding offering workplace flexibility," Fell says.

We'd like to hear from you. Do you have, or have you ever had, a job that allows you to choose your hours? If so, how did it affect your personal life?

Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.

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Hi Randy,

I completely agree with your comments in your article as I am living proof. I thought you might like to take a peek at something very much related to what you wrote about. Check out "Enlightenment, one step at a time" in the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot.

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Karen Burns Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.

Kristen Fife Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.

Lisa Quast Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.

Randy Woods Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.

Former contributors

Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.

Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.

Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."

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