October brings us changing leaves, scarecrows and pumpkins.
With the passing of H. Res. 1440, October also brings us the celebration of National Work & Family Month.
Funny, I have not heard anything about this, and probably would not have had I not been a member of a newsletter group and received a copy of this newsletter in my inbox this morning.
Why the designation? Why the bill passed? And why have we not heard much about this?
As the bill itself states, people who work in jobs that focus more on flexibility in work arrangements so employees can better balance their lives when it comes to work and family are happier. Happier employees generally make better employees, as they have a tendency to come to work more often, be more productive when at work and stay on with the company longer than those employees who are unhappy and wishing they were someplace else.
This bill states that nearly 85% of United States workers have day to day responsibilities outside of their jobs that relate to their families and that a survey conducted by Radcliffe Public Policy Center found that men in their 20s and 30s and women from the ages of 20-40 stated that a flexible work schedule that afforded time with family was the most important job characteristic.
Yet what is being done to make sure our workforces are more family-friendly?
I’ve written quite a lot of posts in the past three years about flexible work places. Some offer telecommuting, some offer shortened schedules, some offer flexible schedules that may allow an employee to come in late or leave early if family obligations arise. Daycare centers on site, feeding breaks for new moms and access to job sharing are a few other great perks for working mothers and fathers.
I recently wrote that due to our economy, some of these perks are being taken away.
So, how is your company holding up to this? Do you find that you have the flexibility to both work and take care of family duties, or are you in an environment that doesn’t afford much flexibility?
And do you think that by passing a bill we will actually see an increase in policies being made, passed, or even discussed that focus on creating a workplace that offers benefits to those with families, such as an increase in telecommuting or flexible schedules, an increase in daycare centers on site or benefits such as insurance given to those who work a part time schedule?
Working Mother magazine just released its 100 Best Companies in its October issue. Though the economy is definitely suffering, and Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker just stated that we are now in a recession, the magazine provides a quote from James Rishwain, firm chair at Pillsbury Wintrhop Shawn Pittman. Mr. Rishwain states that it is important to enhance these family friendly benefits especially in times when families are getting “squeezed the hardest.”