Is your office becoming a ghost town? Many work environments may be less crowded, new research from staffing firm The Creative Group suggests.

More than three-quarters (76%) of advertising and marketing executives surveyed said their company offers some form of alternative work arrangements.

The most common is part-time hours, provided by roughly six in 10 employers (61%).

Flextime and telecommuting are available to another 33% and 30% of professionals, respectively.

The research shows employees who work remotely do so an average of three days a week.

But advertising and marketing executives who are able to telecommute typically spend only one day a week off-site.

Survey respondents were asked, "Which of the following work arrangements does your agency/firm currently offer?" Their responses:

Part-time work 61%
Flextime 33%
Telecommuting 30%
Compressed workweek 14%
Job-sharing 12%
None 24%

"Employees value flexibility more than ever, and companies recognize alternative work arrangements can help attract and retain top talent," says Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group.

"This is especially true in creative fields, where jobs can often be done anywhere, as long as the right tools, processes, and policies are in place."

However, she adds, "while flexibility can help professionals balance work and personal obligations, it's not without challenges.

“Remote team members must communicate more actively than on-site employees to stay in the know and build solid relationships with colleagues."

Additional Findings

  • Executives ranked part-time hours, flextime, and telecommuting as the most important alternative work arrangements for recruiting and retaining creative professionals. But what do employees want? When asked which option they find most appealing, the top response was flextime (37%), followed by telecommuting and a compressed workweek (tied at 26%).
  • Advertising executives at large agencies (100+ employees) are more likely to work remotely than those at smaller agencies and their corporate marketing counterparts.
  • Younger professionals (age 18–34) are more likely to be employed at companies that offer alternative work arrangements than those of other generations.

Tips for Employers

If you're considering instituting flex time, telecommuting, or other alternative work arrangements at your business, check out these strategies for managing a dispersed team.

About the research: The surveys were developed by The Creative Group and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 400 U.S. advertising and marketing executives, and more than 1,000 U.S. workers 18 years or older and employed in office environments.