Sociology Professors Erin Kelly and Phyllis Moen of the University of Minnesota found a workplace that allows employees to change when and where they work based on their needs and job responsibilities positively affects the work-family balance and reduces turnover.
The researchers used data from surveys of more than 600 employees and company records from Best Buy before and after the implementation of its Results Only Work Environment workplace initiative introduced at its Minnesota headquarters in 2005.
The program redirected the focus away from a set work schedule and location and allowed employees to routinely change when and where they worked without seeking permission or notifying a manager.
The study, published in the journal Social Problems, found that program reduced turnover by 45 percent -- 6 percent left the company during the study period under the new program, 11 percent of the comparison group left -- after factoring in for job level, organizational tenure, job satisfaction, income adequacy, job security and other turnover intentions.
Reducing turnover can make all the difference to the bottom line -- some studies show the cost of each employee lost is double the cost of their compensation.