Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The corporate disconnect between work and family

Does your company offer flexible working hours or telecommuting options to improve work-life balance for employees? As many as 85% of companies offer some kind of flexible time arrangement, but a recent study found that many workers don’t feel comfortable using these options.

According to “The Juggle” on The Wall Street Journal, some employees say they have been discouraged in some form by their managers from taking advantage of flex time options or fear that they will lose respect or be perceived as “slacking” on the job.

This disconnect between employers’ claim to family-friendliness and what they do (or don’t do) to enable their employees to make use of work-family balance options is disheartening, and could end up working against the employers in the end. Studies have shown that workers who have flexible working schedules are more satisfied with their job, experience less stress, have stronger loyalty to their company, and work harder.

NFI has worked with a variety of companies from Fortune 500 companies like KPMG, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and IBM, to smaller corporations to help them improve their Work-Family Balance policies. We believe that helping dads balance work and family is part of our mission to improve the well-being of children. When dads are able to adjust their working schedule to be more involved with their kids or at home, it helps moms too, who told NFI in a nationwide survey that they could balance work and family better if they had more support from dads.

If supporting families isn’t important to companies (which it should be, and is for many companies), certainly the bottom line is. And the bottom line is strengthened when employees are enabled and encouraged to balance work and family. Work-family balance is a win-win-win for everyone: companies, employees, and children.

Tell us about your experience. What kind of work-family balance options does your company offer? Do you feel like your company supports and encourages you to take advantage of those options?

1 comment:

  1. DH's company has flex time and never give him grief (unless he has an important meeting, and even then they will let him call in). The issue we face is over all work hours. We have 2 kids so he likes to be home at a certain time, his flex time allows him to be home right after the oldest is home from school and super early on Fridays...but when it comes to promotions he gets the short end of the stick.

    All the other guys without families that work 60 hours a week get more credit than DH, even if he is the most productive member of his team. You would think a company would want to reward an employee who got his work done efficiently 99% of the time in a 40 hour work week with something, but they always go to the guys that are at the office "working" 60 hours even if they don't produce anything.

    He was even told that if he wanted X he need to work more hours like so-and-so...even though so-and-so doesn't DO anything. :-(


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