Flexible Schedules Still Popular

April 24, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The popularity of flexible work schedules exploded in the last decade as the percentage of flextime workers doubled to nearly 30% in 2001, according to the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The latest figure also represents a slight hike from a similar BLS study in 1997 when 27.6% of workers reported a flexible schedule.

The BLS survey also found that, in 2001:

  • men were slightly more likely to enjoy flextime with 30% of men and 27% of women with flexible hours,
  • some 14.5% of full-time and salaried workers have a shift other than a standard daytime setup, slightly lower than was reported in May 1991,
  • there were wide variations in the use of flextime from industry to industry, and
  • three out of ten white workers enjoyed flex schedules, compared to 21% of blacks, and 19.8% of Hispanics

Managers, Sales Reps

Some 45% of executives and managers worked flexible hours. Among sales representative, 40.7% had a flexible schedule, while only 18.3% of precision production, craft, and repair workers had flextime.

In the public sector, flexible schedules were more common among federal workers at 34.4% and state workers at 29.7% compared to local government employees at 14%.
Although more than one in four workers generally can vary their schedules, only about one in ten are enrolled in a formal, employer-sponsored flextime program, according to the BLS.

Full-time wage and salary workers in managerial and professional specialty occupations were the most likely to have a formal flextime program at 15.6%.

Finally, the study reflects the typical work start and end times. About two-thirds of all full-time wage and salary workers began work between 6:30am and 9:29am, with the greatest concentration during the one-hour period around 8am.