A/E/P Employees Want Workplace Flexibility

ZweigWhite’s recently released 2014 Policies, Procedures and Benefits Survey finds workplace flexibility is among the most desired of employee benefits.

Recent changes in workplace policies at A/E/P and environmental consulting firms have made “flex time” a benefit as common as free food at design firms. According to ZweigWhite’s survey, among the “unusual” benefits touted by employees at a variety of firms, flex time/working hours topped the list with 14 percent of respondents stating this option is available to them. It was followed closely by lunches/free food at 13 percent.

Tied in closely with the availability of flextime is the acceptability of telecommuting. ZweigWhite asked if employees were allowed to work at home (telecommute) on a fixed, regular schedule as a substitute for working at the office. The 2014 Policies, Procedures and Benefits Survey found that 58 percent of firms allow firm members to regularly work out of their homes. This policy has been on the rise with 42 percent of firms allowing this practice in 2013 and only 39 percent in 2008.

Among those allowed to work from home, 79 percent of firms do not have a set minimum requirement for telecommuters to work in the office. For those firms that do, the median number of days required per week is three, and the median number of hours telecommuters must work at the office is 24.

Sixty-nine percent of firms allow employees to work from home because they live far from the office, 43 percent allow because of a child/children at home, 35 percent allow because of personal preference, and 35 percent have the policy to increase efficiency and avoid distractions.

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