Magazine article USA TODAY

Job Flexibility Aids Work-Family Harmony. (Your Life)

Magazine article USA TODAY

Job Flexibility Aids Work-Family Harmony. (Your Life)

Article excerpt

E. Jeffrey Hill, a researcher from the Family Studies Center at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, found that job flexibility enabled employees to avoid a negatively impacted work-family balance. "Our research found that giving employees varying degrees of control over where their work is done and when it is done proved to be beneficial to both the employee and the employer. With this kind of flexibility, employees felt more harmony between their work and family life. It appears to enable them to both become more involved in family interactions as well as more productive on the job.

The study presents evidence that implementing programs sufficient to improve employee perception of flexibility by one point on a five-point scale is statistically the equivalent of reducing workload by 11 hours per week per employee. "The fact that flexibility programs offer the promise of enabling employees opportunities to better balance work and family life, thus benefiting both the individual and the business, while requiring little or no expense to the company, makes a strong business case for their adoption," Hill points out. Some common job programs that might be considered include flexible work hours, meal-time flexibility, part-time work, job sharing, compressed workweek, telecommuting, and the virtual office. …

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