Flexible work schedules lead to healthier employees: study

Washington – Employees who are allowed to vary their work hours based on individual needs see improved well-being, according to a new study from the University of Minnesota.

Researchers analyzed a flexible workplace initiative that focuses on the results of work being done – not when or where the work is completed, the study abstract stated. As part of the initiative, employees were allowed to routinely change when or where they worked based on their own needs without having to seek permission.

Researchers found that participants in the initiative reported getting an extra 52 minutes of sleep each night, were less likely to work when ill and were more likely to go to a doctor when necessary, according to a press release from the American Sociological Association, which published the study.

“Narrower flexibility policies allow some ‘accommodations’ for family needs, but are less likely to promote employee health and well-being or to be available to all employees,” study author Erin Kelly said.

The study was published in the December issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

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