Menlo Park, Calif. (July 27, 2004) -- Flexible schedules topped the list of perks most valued by workers, according to a survey of chief financial officers.

After flexible schedules, cited by 30 percent, CFOs ranked retirement savings plans second, cited by 17 percent. Extra time off ranked a close third, cited by 16 percent of those responding to the national poll of 1,400 CFOs conducted for staffing firm Accountemps. Spot bonuses and health care benefits/insurance tied for fourth, cited by 13 percent.

“Not all companies are able to provide flexible schedules; it depends on the nature of the business and the number of people employed. However, firms that can offer this benefit may have an advantage when recruiting and retaining staff,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of “Motivating Employees for Dummies” (John Wiley & Sons Inc.).

Messmer advised managers who are considering offering flexible work arrangements to consider the following questions:

• How will it affect customer service? While staggering work hours might allow you to accommodate employee schedules while being more available to customers, if your business has certain peak periods, you may want to have all personnel available during those times.

• How strong is the employee work ethic? Flexible schedules work best for self-motivated professionals, particularly if they’ll be doing their jobs when no one else is around.

• How dependent on teamwork is the organization? If impromptu meetings are where the best ideas are born, you’ll want to ensure significant overlap in employee schedules.

-- WebCPA staff

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