Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Obamas Get to Work from Home. So Should You, They Say

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Obamas Get to Work from Home. So Should You, They Say

Article excerpt

The Obamas held a White House forum Wednesday to promote flexible work arrangements, including work from home.

Why is President Obama focusing Wednesday on promoting family- friendly workplaces?

It's a fair question to ask, given all the other agenda items on the president's plate. Mr. Obama is still working to sell Americans on his new healthcare-reform law, confronting foreign-policy challenges, and announcing a new oil-drilling policy, among other things.

But he also convened a White House forum - with a lunchtime address by first lady Michelle Obama - to promote greater availability of work patterns such as telecommuting, flexible scheduling, and nonstandard hours (including job sharing and part- year work).

It's part of a broader effort by the Obama administration to improve the well-being of middle-class families. One group participating in Wednesday's event, the Workplace Flexibility 2010 initiative based at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, says the issue deserves policy attention now - even amid wider economic concerns.

In a new report, the Georgetown group cites four demographic trends that underscore the need for so-called flexible work arrangements at United States firms:

1. In 1970, almost two-thirds of married couples had one spouse at home, able to deal with many routine and emergency family needs. …

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