There's one perk many in today's modern workforce crave: flexibility. The ability to set your own schedule. Clock in from home a day or two a week. Work during the hours that make sense for you, not around an arbitrary 9-to-5 time bracket.

If only we had the freedom to set our own schedules, we'd be so much happier. Or so we think.

Flexible working has its downsides. In reality, you might end up working more than you would at the office. And if you're a woman, it's unlikely you'll get compensated for those overtime hours.

These are the results from a study about work flexibility published in European Sociological Review. Dr. Heejung Chung, a labor sociologist, was one of the study's authors and recently wrote about the results in Quartz. Chung and her co-author Yvonne Lott concluded that people with flexible work schedules end up working overtime. More control leads to even more overtime. "This increase in working hours was greatest when workers had full autonomy over their working hours," Chung writes.

The researchers gathered data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study, which followed workers over 28 years. Specifically, they examined how the number of hours worked changed once people began to have more autonomy over their schedule.

Even when considering several variables such as level and job type, the authors found the same trend across the board. When given greater control over their work schedules, people tend to work more.

Getting compensated for overtime

Employment studies rarely touch on gender. But Chung and Lott wanted to know if results were the same for men and women.

They found that women who worked part-time and had autonomy over their schedules typically did not work overtime. They stuck to their set number of hours. This is likely because family obligations necessitate a part-time schedule, leaving no wiggle room to work extra. Men with part-time jobs did work more. Compared to their female counterparts, male part-time workers had more space in their schedule to work more.

Things got more even more interesting when the researchers analyzed full-time workers.

Both genders had a tendency to work overtime when they had full-time jobs. But men were more frequently compensated for their overtime hours, whereas women were not. The reason for this pay discrepancy could boil down to traditional gender roles, the researchers hypothesized. Employers likely assume that women ask for a more flexible work schedule for personal and family reasons -- not a good enough reason to merit a pay bump.

The results of this study provide food for thought if you're campaigning for a more flexible schedule at work. Either way, it could lead to working more than you do when you go into the office. But your gender is a consideration, too. If you end up logging more hours every week, will you be compensated for it?