Freedom at Work
We all want freedom—both in how we conduct our personal lives and how we work. And having freedom is healthy for us. A study of 20,000 employees by the University of Birmingham found that when workers have more control over their job and schedule, they report higher levels of well-being.
While all workers want control over their jobs, men and women value different types of autonomy at work.
Women tend to value schedule control. They want flexibility in timing and location of their work, usually citing family commitments.
Men, on the other hand, value job control. They seek autonomy over what tasks they perform, when they perform those tasks, and the pace of their work.
So how many of us experience a high level of autonomy at work? Unless you’re a manager, not very many.
• 90% of managers report some or a lot of autonomy.
• 40-50% of other employees experience low autonomy, particularly over pace of work and working hours.
• 50% of workers in low-skilled occupations report having no autonomy over their working hours at all.
Source: University of Birmingham