Approximately one-third (32 percent) of CFOs in a recent survey believe they would be more productive if their employees had greater autonomy at work.

Only 13 percent of the more than 2,100 CFOs surveyed by Robert Half Management Resources feared their own performance would decline if they gave workers more control.

CFOs were asked, "If you gave your staff greater autonomy over how and when they do their jobs (such as flexible work hours, working remotely or less direct supervision), what effect, if any, do you feel it would have on your own productivity?"

"Giving employees greater autonomy has the added benefit of making managers more productive," said Robert Half senior executive director Paul McDonald in a statement. "When staff have the freedom to decide how their work gets accomplished, they develop management skills much earlier in their careers. Leaders gain the gift of time, which they can devote to strategic planning and other critical initiatives."

McDonald acknowledged that giving up control can be difficult, however. "Letting go as a manager isn't easy," he said. "However, executives can start small with something as simple as offering telecommuting options or giving additional responsibilities to the most capable team members."

One measure of autonomy is allowing employees to work remotely. According to a separate study by Robert Half’s Accountemps business, more than one-third (36 percent) of CFOs said remote work opportunities have increased at their companies over the past three years, while only 3 percent have seen a decline. Also, large companies with more than 1,000 employees were more likely to see remote work opportunities rise (68 percent) compared to small businesses (34 percent) with 20 to 49 employees.

Among companies offering remote work arrangements, higher morale and retention are the primary benefits, according to 35 percent of the more than 2,100 CFOs polled. Another 28 percent said the best aspect of this perk is increasing productivity by eliminating commute time.

You can see an infographic of the Accountemps research findings on remote workers here or below.

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