What Men Really Want

When I was younger, dating and generally trying to figure out men, Cosmo's headlines were always the most eye-catching: What men won't tell you... Real-life advice from an actual guy... What do men really want?

Little did I know 20 years later that I'd find the answer at Working Mother.

What do men want? It's pretty simple because it's what women want, too: Flexible work.

How do I know? Well, because the Working Mother Research Institute asked 1,000 men to find out. Today, with our partner Ernst & Young LLP, WMRI is releasing the results of that national survey, aptly entitled How Men Flex.

Fielded in honor of the second-annual National Flex Day, the WMRI survey finds that among men surveyed, 77% say they use flex at work, while 47% have a formal flexible work arrangement. Additionally, 62% say their employer can and does encourage flexible work.

But even more important, just like women we've previously surveyed, the Working Mother Research Institute finds that men who have access to flexible work report much higher levels of satisfaction across 11 different work life sectors, from the support they receive from their partner to how they view their manager to their overall career prospects.

Flexible work comes in many shades. For my husband, it's about flex-time, which allows him to shift his work hours to leave early twice a week to pick our children up from afterschool. For me, it's a formal flexible work arrangement that includes a work-from-home day that I positively love because I get to avoid meetings and fully concentrate on actual editing.

In honor of National Flex Day and National Work and Family Month, I encourage you to make flex a basic right of working by sharing your own flex story with the #flexday hashtag. Every employee should have access to a shade of flexible work that works for them and their employer. Flex promotes employee engagement, lowers absenteeism and increases productivity.

Simply put, flex is a simple, cheap and powerful benefit that works.