Research and Resources

Research and Resources

This curated collection of surveys, research reports, data, and other information will help you learn more about job flexibility and assess whether a flexible arrangement could work for you as an MIT employee or manager/supervisor.

SHRM Research: Flexible Work Arrangements (PDF, 2015)
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
An overview of research on job flexibility, including the increase in work flexibility practice, the success and impact of flexibility, and the future of workplace flexibility.

The Future of Flexibility (PDF, 2014)
Boston College Center for Work & Family
An overview of the business case for flexibility. The focus is on flexibility for non-exempt employees; barriers to successful implementation and strategies for overcoming them; and best practices for sustaining organizational commitment.

Leveraging Workplace Flexibility for Engagement and Productivity (PDF, 2014)
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
A report describing the use of flexibility as both a tool to provide employees with work-life support, and a management tool to increase efficiency and productivity. The report also outlines organizational strategies for successfully implementing flexibility.

National Workplace Flexibility Study (PDF, 2014)
Boston College Center for Work & Family, Career/Life Alliance, and Life Meets Work
A study that presents an organizational approach to the successful implementation of job flexibility, which includes supporting and training managers and supervisors in how to work with flexible teams. The study describes how this approach was tested and presents the results.

Evolving Talent Strategy to Meet the New Workforce Reality (PDF, 2013)
PwC (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers), University of Southern California, and London Business School
A joint study on fostering a greater sense of workplace commitment among the increasingly important millennial generation. It calls for a new focus on work-life balance and discusses the potential role that job flexibility might play.

Business Impacts of Flexibility: An Imperative for Expansion (PDF, 2011)
Corporate Voices for Working Families
A study seeking to understand how companies measure and define the business benefit of flexibility. It clarifies and strengthens the bottom-line case for expanding flexibility as a core business practice.

SHRM Executive Roundtable on Workplace Flexibility: Executive Summary (PDF, 2010)
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
A summary report on a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Roundtable in which representatives from 20 companies discuss the context and current landscape for workplace flexibility. Topics addressed include the progress that has been made, issues companies have identified, and the role of HR professionals in advancing workplace flexibility.

Fact Sheet: The Business Case for Workplace Flexibility 
A Better Balance: The Work and Family Legal Center
An overview of employers who provide flexibility to their employees with regard to where and how their work gets done. The fact sheet shows that these workplaces can gain a tremendous financial benefit and competitive advantage in today’s economy.

Telework Experts Say Employers Can Manage Sight Unseen (2010)
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
An article that examines some of the misperceptions about telecommuting that have slowed wider adoption. The focus is on how telework benefits employers.

Workplace Flexibility in the 21st Century: Meeting the Needs of the Changing Workforce (PDF, 2009)
Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
A large-scale survey of U.S. employers on workplace flexibility. It documents the prevalence and types of flexible work arrangements (FWAs) that employers offer; employee utilization of FWAs; employers that collect metrics/analytics on FWAs; successful FWAs as well as success factors; the impact of FWAs on both employees and employers; and the challenges associated with FWAs.

Creating a Culture of Flexibility: What It Is, Why It Matters, How to Make It Work (PDF, 2003)
Boston College Center for Work & Family
An article that provides an overview of the culture of flexibility. The wide range of topics includes business reasons for implementing flexibility, obstacles to successful implementation, what leading companies are doing to sustain a flexible work culture, and how to engage senior leaders to make a positive impact on the culture of flexibility in your own organization.

Does It Matter Where You Work? A Comparison of How Three Work Venues (traditional office, virtual office, and home office) Influence Aspects of Work and Personal/Family Life (PDF, 2003)
Journal of Vocational Behavior
An IBM study that examines how three different work venues may influence different aspects of job performance. Topics include motivation, retention, career opportunity, and personal/family life, including work-life balance and personal/family success.

Bringing Work Home: Advantages and Challenges of Telecommuting (PDF, 2002)
Boston College Center for Work & Family
An article providing an overview of telecommuting. Topics include how to evaluate whether it’s right for your organization, the cost-benefit analysis of telecommuting, the impact on professional relationships and career progression for employees, and how to create and implement a telecommuting program.