|| Print ||
|Wednesday, February 01, 2006|
Flexibility on when and where work takes place makes good business sense for an organization, according to a survey of human resources professionals.
“Employers are realizing that allowing employees to work flexible schedules and handle some of their personal needs at work can improve both employee satisfaction and bottom-line results,” said Anne Ruddy, president of WorldatWork, which conducted the survey along with the Regional Research Institute for Human Services at Portland State University and the Alliance for Work Life Progress.
The Work-Life Flexibility and Dependent Care Survey found that there were strong business reasons for allowing employees to have a flexible schedule (defined as having choices about the time and/or location that work is conducted), most notably that such flexibility improved employee retention; increased employee commitment, productivity and job satisfaction; and decreased absenteeism.
The study found that the factors most important to employers when considering a flexible work request were impact on coverage, the ability of the employee to complete their duties and the impact on customers.
Eileen Brennan, associate dean at PSU’s Graduate School of Social Work, predicted that with the workforce growing older and the attendant need to deal with illness and family issues, work fl exibility will become so crucial that it will determine where people choose to work.
The study noted that while employers appreciate the boost in productivity and morale and workers reap the benefits of structuring work around their lives, it goes against the traditional work culture, which in the United States has meant long hours and face time at the office. The study found that flexible work requests due to medical, child care or other urgent personal matters are likely to be approved, “perhaps because a ‘good enough reason’ is required to trump the traditional presumption about when, where and how we work.”
Parents whose children experience behavioral difficulties at school might find their employers somewhat ambivalent about granting flex time, according to the survey. And employers were least likely to grant fl exible schedules for those training for a marathon or for a worker to care for a sick animal.
“There is a growing expectation that you can have work and family,” said Julie Rosenzweig, PSU associate professor of social work. She added that the aging baby boomers will redefi ne the need for flexibility beyond just dealing with medical and family issues.
Brennan, who advocates for paid family leave, emphasized that formal fl ex policies are still needed, referring to the survey results that determined the most common way for workers to ask for a fl ex arrangement is to informally contact an immediate supervisor. Also, one in three participants said that their work culture does not encourage employees to work flex schedules.
The good news found by the survey was that 56% of the companies surveyed allowed employees to deal with personal issues on company time, indicating an increasing accommodation of work-life balance issues.
WorldatWork is a not-for-profi t association focused on human resources disciplines; the Alliance for Work-Life Progress is a not-for-profi t association for work-life professionals. The survey respondents were from a mix of organizations and industries. — Robin Doussard
THE SURVEY SAYS...
From the perspective of your organizational leadership, how strong are the following business reasons for allowing employees to have flexible work schedules? (Percentages of respondents who answered “strong” or “very strong.”)
Improves job satisfaction: 77%
Improves morale: 77%
Improves work-life balance: 73%
Improves quality of life: 73%
Improves retention: 72%
Improves commitment: 72%
Source: Work-Life Flexibility and Dependent Care Survey
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS
Historically, when the leaves fall, so do the markets. This year, earnings, Europe, energy and Ebola have in common? Beyond alliteration, they are four factors that the investors are pointing to for this year’s seasonal volatility.
Thursday, October 02, 2014
More than 5,500 employees from 180 organizations throughout the state participated in the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon project.
Friday, September 19, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
How can you tell if you, a peer, a subordinate or a job candidate has the emotional intelligence needed to do well?
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO
Former newspaper reporters move into brand journalism.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
Cylvia Hayes, tabloid vs. watchdog journalism and the looming threat of a Cascadia earthquake.
Friday, October 17, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
How can you move from a command-and-control leadership model to one of true empowerment and accountability? David Marquet did, and he took notes along the way.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE
Antibiotics really aren’t magic bullets.
|The 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon 2014|
|A Recipe for Success|
|Dow Chemical profit up 44%|
|Boeing profit jumps 18%|
|Verizon posts higher Q3 revenue|
|Oscar Pistorius sentenced to 5 years in prison|
|IBM to pay Globalfoundries to take chip unit|
|Spotify introduces family plan|
|GE profit rises 11%|
Is your business ready to join us in the call for action? This opening panel includes Oregon businesses who will discuss why they signed the Oregon Climate Declaration, the investments they are making to reduce carbon emissions, and how their actions are affecting their companies.
Get ready for two days of special events produced with the EPA, Portland Timbers and ISOS before and after the GoGreen Conference on October 16.
Finding a health insurance plan that makes both financial sense for the bottom line and provides choice for plan participants is a huge challenge for employers.
The right financing at the right time is critical for small businesses to succeed.
Among Oregon universities, Oregon Tech is special in the way it incorporates applied research into the curricula of every department.
More than 400 "Change Makers" will gather to invest in a socially sustainable community.