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Workplace flexibility programs benefit employers of all sizes and industries, resulting in increased employee job satisfaction, lower turnover and lower insurance costs, according to the new report “Workplace Flexibility in the United States: A Status Report.”
Published by the When Work Works initiative of the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the report debunks myths about workplace flexibility and documents the connection among flexible workplaces and business results that matter to employers. It was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
“As the economy, and the employers and employees that comprise it, move forward through a time of ever greater work and home-life demands, workplace flexibility becomes more than a favor or benefit for employees,” the report concluded. “It becomes a strategic necessity to keep employees and employers working and living well.”
Being released at the new SHRM-FWI Work-Life Focus: 2012 and Beyond conference Nov. 8-10 in Washington, D.C., the update on workplace flexibility is a summary of reports produced by FWI to accompany the National Dialogue on Workplace Flexibility, a series of 10 forums across the country convened between October 2010 and June 2011 by the Department of Labor Women’s Bureau. The forums were a follow up to the March 2010 White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility.
A common assumption about workplace flexibility is that small employers are less flexible than large employers because of cost. But while 38 percent of large employers (500 or more employees) said the costs of flexibility or limited funds was an obstacle to flexibility, less than 32 percent of small organizations said the same thing, FWI data show.