Content prepared by the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College

Many studies have found a positive relationship between flexible schedules and job satisfaction. (93) (5) While it is commonly believed that workplace flexibility is primarily a concern of workers with young children, in a 2008 survey of more than 2,000 U.S. employees, flexible work options were found to be related to happiness at work by 54% of workers of all ages combined. For specific generational groups, the proportion ranking flexible work options as important were: Gen Y workers, 52%; Gen X, 54%; baby boomers, 47%; and matures 51%. (72)

Despite this strong association between job satisfaction and workplace flexibility, many surveys show an imbalance between the number or type of workplace flexibility offerings by employers and the extent to which such programs would enhance the job satisfaction of employees. For example, in a recent study conducted by the Conference Board, only about one-third (32.8%) of survey respondents say that they are satisfied with the flexible time plan offered by their employer and, similarly, only one-third (34.6%) say they are satisfied with their employer's family leave plan. (35)


In a 2009 study on access to flexible work options, a majority of each of the age groups/generations reported that having access to flexible work options contributes to their overall quality of life "to a great extent." Employees between the ages of 36-52 were the most likely to indicate that workplace flexibility contributes to their success as an employee. (68)

Flexibility Contributing to Overall Quality of Life by Generation*, Percent of Respondents
* Items developed by the Sloan Center on Aging & Work, 2007

In the same study, it was found that although the average respondent had access to 7.6 different types of flexible work options, only "one-quarter (24.3%) of the respondents agreed to a great extent that they have access to the flexible work options they need to fulfill their personal and work needs (9.4% said not at all, 32.0% said to a limited extent, 34.4% said to a moderate extent." (68)