MFG Women

Manufacturing Industry Study: Workplace Flexibility in Manufacturing Companies 

12-16-2019 16:45

Excerpt taken from Study Introduction


This report explores the extent to which employees in manufacturing companies have the same access to and desire for workplace flexibility as their peers in other industries, as well as the degree to which they actually use the flexibility they have. Lastly, it considers whether employers that provide greater workplace flexibility to manufacturing employees actually benefit from doing so. In addition, we share promising practices from manufacturing companies that are using flexibility effectively.


The research findings presented here are drawn from the 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce (NSCW)1 conducted by the Families and Work Institute. The survey sample is representative of the entire workforce in the United States.2  The report looks only at wage and salaried workers (N=2,769) who are employed by someone else; 317 of these employees work in manufacturing.

The questionnaire used to collect data in the National Study of the Changing Workforce was designed to capture information about the practices of supervisors and managers, whether they are formalized in policy or not—for it is these practices that determine what flexibility is actually available to employees and whether there is any jeopardy associated with utilizing available flexibility. The examples of promising practices come from the Sloan Award winners from When Work Works, a project of the Families and Work Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

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