News and Announcements

Flexible Work Arrangements: Busting the Myths

Catalyst’s newest study sets the record straight on flexible work arrangements.


In our global, technology-charged world, it’s possible to work from virtually anywhere, anytime. And experts predict that within the next few years, 1.3 billion people will work virtually. So why, then, are we still debating the value of flex work options versus face time? With so many myths fueling the conversation—and affecting the way we all work—it’s time to bust these myths, once and for all. Catalyst’s new study, The Great Debate: Flexibility vs. Face Time, does just that, proving that high-potential women and men want flexible work options.

MYTH: Flexible work arrangements are still the exception, not the rule.

FACT: 81% of respondents said that their current employer offers opportunities to work flexibly. For every company that does not offer flexible work options (which can include telecommuting, flexible arrival and departure times, flex time, compressed work weeks, part-time options and job sharing), there are four others that do. 

MYTH: Flex work options only matter to millennials and parents.

FACT: High-potential employees of all ages—with and without children—perceive flexible work options as important.

MYTH:  Women use flexible work options more than men.

FACT: Women and men are equally likely to use some flex options throughout their careers.

MYTH: Access to flexible work arrangements has no impact on aspirations.

FACT: 90% of employees in organizations with flexible work options aspire to a C-suite job; but when such programs are absent, women downsize their aspirations more than men.

The bottom line? Availability of flexible work options impacts an organization’s ability to maximize its talent pool. High-potential men and women want flex options, and organizations need to provide them if they want to attract and retain the best and the brightest and become an employer of choice for top talent throughout the pipeline.

Read the study here.

The topic is also covered in our new blog: Flexibility At Work—What’s Really Going On?

Our Flex Works tool makes the business case for flexibility.

Media contacts:
Ellen Parlapiano, [email protected]

Susan Nierenberg, [email protected]

Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit membership organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States, Canada, Europe, and India, and more than 600 members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women's advancement with the Catalyst Award.