At FlexJobs we’re staunch supporters of work flexibility.

We’ve built our company structure on remote workers and their ability to productively produce work at home. Without technology, FlexJobs couldn’t exist as a virtual company. These connected trends – technology and flexible work options – led my team at FlexJobs to launch our “Better” campaign, encouraging people to “find your better” through flexible work options.

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A big piece of this campaign has been listening to professionals across industries, career levels, and professions about how they believe having a more flexible job would make their lives better. The stories people have shared are very real and very inspiring. From the responses of over 1,500 people, we found the top eight reasons having flexible work options would make people’s lives better:

  • Family (including spouses, children, pets, extended family, and close friends)
  • Combining career and parenthood
  • Mental and physical health
  • Relocation or travel plans
  • Long commutes
  • Caregiving responsibilities (for children, elderly, friends, family, pets, etc.)
  • Supplemental income
  • Improving lifestyle and work-life balance

One key aspect is the balancing act that so many people conduct every day. Nicole told us that, “A flexible job would allow me to take better care of my family. I have two small children, plus two aging parents who suffer from a variety of health issues. At my former office job, I would not have been able to take the time I need for my family.”

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As a freelancer, Nicole says she can and does work from everywhere—her kitchen table, her parents’ home, the doctor’s office, and the school pick-up line. This helps her keep up with both work and life responsibilities. For some, flexible jobs and advancing technology make it possible to find a job in areas without a lot of economic activity, as George told us: “I live far away from most of the relevant jobs in my area, so FlexJobs gives me an opportunity to find jobs I wouldn’t be able to apply for in my town without a very long commute.”

We’re able to blend work and life without worrying that we’re seen as less motivated, engaged, or professional than anyone around us.

Coinciding with our Better campaign, we’ve also been partnering with rural economic development initiatives in Kentucky and Colorado to help bring job opportunities to rural residents through remote work.

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Mental health is another big reason to embrace being 100% Human at Work, both to support people with mental health issues and to reduce the stigma associated with it. Flexible work helps people stay connected to the workforce when, without flexibility, they might be forced out. Jessica told us, “I suffer from PTSD and the only type of work that works for me is remote.”

According to FlexJobs’ annual survey of over 5,000 professionals interested in flexible work, the impact of flexible work options on mental health is undeniable:

  • 97 per cent said flexible work options would have either a “huge improvement” or a “positive impact” in their quality of life
  • 86 per cent said having a flexible job would help them be less stressed
  • 78 per cent said a flexible job would support them in being healthier

Flexibility + Technology = Compassion and Productivity

I’ve seen this first-hand with my own team at FlexJobs. We’re a 100 per cent remote team, most of whom have flexible schedules, and we’ve got a good mix of full-time, part-time, and freelance workers.

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Each person on my team is positively impacted by the flexibility they have in ways large and small. Large? Caring for aging parents, healing from postpartum anxiety, going through cancer treatments, handling family loss, evacuating from fires and floods. Small? Attending a child’s school event, volunteering with a local animal shelter, spending time during the traditional “workday” to engage in self-care like yoga and hiking. And let’s not forget--never having to commute to work.

We’re able to blend work and life without worrying that we’re seen as less motivated, engaged, or professional than anyone around us. And removing that pressure actually means we can better focus and achieve outstanding productivity and effectiveness when we’re working.

When we look at people as whole humans, we realise that over the long-term, everyone needs accommodations at work during their careers, either for themselves or so they can help someone close to them. Technology that supports flexible work options is helping us all become 100% Human at Work.

- This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. 


Read more from our 100% Human at Work series - powered by The B Team and Virgin Unite