As Gap Between Employees and Leadership Widens, New Research Reveals Success Factors for Flexible Work, including Return to Office

MADISON, N.J., Oct. 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — New national research from leading flexible work strategist and futurist Cali Williams Yost and her firm Flex+Strategy Group (FSG) signals a widening gap between employee and leadership perceptions about flexible work and performance, including what’s happening when employees are onsite.

Based upon a demographically representative sample size of 782 U.S. full-time employed adults, the research is the latest in a series of FSG studies that have monitored the national progress of issues related to work life flexibility from the employee point of view since 2006.

“This research provides a unique longitudinal pre- and post-pandemic lens into the employee experience and perspective,” Yost says. “While employees and leaders continue to clash about where, when and how we do our best work, our findings reveal the factors that bring organizations together to drive flexible work success.”

The online survey conducted in June 2023 for FSG by Big Village, an independent research firm, yielded several key findings, including:

  • Even though many employees have more work life flexibility than before the pandemic, a majority say they still do most of their work onsite at their employer’s location.
  • Most of these employees spend the same amount or even more time interacting/working with colleagues when onsite than before the pandemic.
  • Regardless of where work is done, training and guidance are significant drivers for flexible work success, including increased communication, productivity and engagement.
  • But a lack of training and guidance, along with the perception that work life flexibility is a policy or perk rather than a business strategy, remain impediments to high performance flexibility.
  • Despite economic uncertainty and layoffs in certain sectors, most workers are more likely to pursue flexibility or plan no change from their current approach and believe their employers will continue to offer the same amount or even more flexibility.

“We are all, to varying degrees, flexible workers now. While the pandemic greatly accelerated the level of flexibility that was already well underway, the crisis-driven nature of that shift was not strategic or sustainable,” explains Yost. “Now is the time to move past entrenched beliefs and together reimagine the future of work. Organizations need to view flexibility as the way everyone works and how we all can succeed.”

For data analysis and commentary visit to download “The Now and Next of Work: A 2023 Flex+Strategy Group Research Report, Unifying Leaders and Employees on the Future of High Performance Flexibility.”


The research is based upon a demographically representative sample size of 782 U.S. full-time employed adults with a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points at a 95% confidence level. The survey was conducted online June 19-23, 2023, by Big Village, an independent research firm, as part of its weekly CARAVAN® Omnibus Surveys.

Media Contact:
Pam Kassner

SOURCE Flex+Strategy Group