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What Do Working Moms and Dads Value More Than Money?

Patrick Ball on September 12, 2016 11:09 AM

Working parents … they’re just like us. Basically.

A new survey by, a career resource site, delves into what working moms and dads place a high value on when considering job opportunities. The results are insightful, if not super surprising.

In addition to compensation, working parents prioritize flexibility and 401(k), health insurance and healthy work-life balance. You know, the usual suspects.

But the premium working moms and dads place on flexibility in particular is where some might say things start to get interesting. Let’s take a closer look.

FlexJobs surveyed nearly 1,200 moms and dads with kids under 18 at home. One pretty clear takeaway from the results is that flexible work is most definitely in demand. More than 90 percent of working parents said having kids at home has affected their interest in flexible jobs.

The survey also found only 4 percent of parents thought having a flexible work arrangement would hurt their career in the long term. This is a particularly promising data point, considering how many Millennial moms admit to struggling with work-life balance.

Asked about the most important factors in a potential job, working parents put flexibility and work-life balance ahead of salary. Here's a quick look at the breakdown: 

  • Flexibility 84%

  • Work-life balance 80%

  • Salary 75%

  • Health Insurance 42%

  • Company Reputation 39%

  • 401(k) and Retirement Benefits 29%

Read More: How Betting on Family-Friendly Benefits Can Help You Win the Talent Wars

There are many different kinds of flexibility – from scaling back responsibilities to telecommuting to shifting to a part time schedule.

It’s clear we’re not living in a 9-to-5 world anymore. There has been a gradual movement toward more companies giving workers in traditional “office” jobs more flexibility over when and where their work gets done. And recently a smaller number of business leaders have gotten a good bit of attention for programs that would enable condensed or reduced work weeks. Amazon’s 30-hour work week is just one example.

Meanwhile, the number of Americans in what we might consider an “alternative” or contingent workforce is also climbing steadily. According to some estimates, there are more than 50 million Americans doing freelance work, earning their livings as odd-jobbers, caregivers, project managers or all of the above.

A fully remote work arrangement was the most appealing among FlexJobs respondents, with flexible schedules, part-time schedules, alternative schedules and partial telecommuting also receiving significant support.

The FlexJobs survey also asked about needs and motivations behind the desire among working moms and dads for more flexible work arrangements.

Asked why they seek flex work options, most parents cited work-life balance (84 percent) and family (83 percent). Those far outpaced other motivations, like saving time (45 percent) or cutting down on commuter stress (43 percent).

At a time when most American households with children do not have a stay-at-home parent, understanding how to effectively support working moms and dads support an organization’s business objectives as well.

With a holistic, scalable approach to providing family-care benefits, a company can address work-life issues for employees across all ages, locations and life stages, while meeting business needs like reducing absenteeism, improving productivity and supporting talent acquisition and management.  

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