What Are Employers Doing About Work-Life Balance? And What are the Employer Benefits?

Filed under: Best Practices, Employer, Human Resources / Capital, Work-Life Balance

Work/Life Balance

– part 2

In December we looked at some tips for people to achieve work-life balance and put forth our own survey. Click to view the results of the Redfish survey. This month we focus on various approaches companies are taking to address work-life balance, and reap benefits from the mobility and flexibility that technology facilitates and more and more employees desire.

What Are Employers Doing About Work-Life Balance? And What are the Employer Benefits?

This month, there are several articles on strategies that companies are employing to not only help their employees achieve better work-life balance, but also impact the company’s bottom line. BestBuy, Citrix, Microsoft, Google, and more companies than you think have programs to address work/life balance and employee satisfaction, many include some form of telework (a.k.a. telecommuting, workshifting, remote work, location-neutral work, and doubtlessly some other terms). Read more »

Studies Show Teleworkers Have More Job Satisfaction, and Work Harder!

Filed under: Best Practices, Work-Life Balance

Studies Show Teleworkers Have More Job Satisfaction, and Work Harder!

A research study conducted by Kathryn Fonner, UWM and Michael Roloff, Northwestern University, analyzed conflicting perspectives on the advantages and disadvantages of a location-neutral workforce. Two sets of employees were surveyed: traditional employees, who work in an office-based setting with their colleagues on a full-time basis; and teleworkers, who work from a location of their choice outside of the traditional office at least three days a week.

The results showed that while physical proximity provides the advantage of daily face-to-face dialogue, it “may not be necessary for an effective and satisfying work environment”. There are also disadvantages such as less effective and autonomous time management. In fact, a primary conclusion of the study is that limited face-to-face communication offers many advantages. Read more »

The Federal Government Embraces Telework, Bill Passed

Filed under: Best Practices, Candidate / Job Seeker, Employer, Talent Acquisition, Work-Life Balance

The Federal Government Embraces Telework

The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (HR 1722) was signed into law on December 9th. The bill will promote telecommuting (aka workshifting) among federal employees, and is a move that could save the government billions of dollars. The bill enlarges teleworking opportunities and sets up frameworks and policies; eligible employees may be allowed to telework at least 20 percent of the time.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), an advocate of telework and a lead author of the Telework Enhancement Act, described the legislation as “a cost savings measure that will help the federal government implement a flexible workplace strategy proven successful in the private sector.”

The federal government has some track record on the subject. The Patent and Trademark office is reportedly a leader in the effort. That agency reports that telework allowed them to consolidate almost 50,000 square feet of space saving $1.5 million in annual rent.

The Telework Research Network has predicted that this legislation could save annually $2.3b in absenteeism, $3.1b on employee turnover. If the 79% of eligible employees desiring to work from home do so one day per week, productivity is estimated to increase by over $4.6b, $850m in real estate, utilities and related facilities costs, and at the same time provide better work/life balance and quality of life.


Federal Telework Bill Passes – Undress for Success

Federal Telework Bill Passes – Life Meets Work

Telework legislation is good news for budgets and workers – Washington Post

Work-Life Balance and the Economics of Workplace Flexibility – US Government

Further reading

Work/Life Balance – What is it?

More articles on Work/Life Balance & Workshifting – Redfish Technology Resources


Work/Life Balance Survey – Take a minute to weigh in and win our everlasting gratitude!

Workshifting Benefits Are Numerous, Just Ask Citrix Online

Filed under: Best Practices, Human Resources / Capital, Talent Retention, Work-Life Balance

Workshifting Benefits: The Bottom Line

A paper prepared for Citrix Online by Telework Research Network / Aerodite, Inc. (Kate Lister & Tom Harnish, 2010)

“The purpose of this paper is to quantify the benefits of workshifting — specifically working from home — has for employers, employees, and the community. Citrix Online coined the term ‘workshifting’ to describe the growing trend to working from anywhere other than a traditional office through the use of web-based technology. The older and more traditional terms for this are ‘teleworking’ or even ‘telecommuting’. Both of these terms are cited in this report to preserve its authenticity, since some of the data specifically cited those terms.”

 We look at the issue of Work/Life Balance in December & January and are convinced of the numerous benefits. It turns out that trust in employees to get the job done is a winning proposition for everyone. Studies have shown that employees actually put in more hours, are more productive, better at prioritizing. Employers reap the benefits of more productive and happy employees, reduced costs for real estate and utilities, and better talent acquisition/retention. The community benefits from additional investment of time in the social fabric and volunteering by telecommuters. And the environment benefits from reduced emissions and less use of resources.

 Here are some highlights of the bottom line benefits detailed in this report:

 Employer—Productivity Assumptions:
• 27% increase in productivity on workshifting days
• Value of employee time = $32,136 per man-year
• Average reduction in absenteeism = 3.7 days a year

Employer—Attraction and Retention Assumptions:
• 25% reduction in attrition
• Cost of turnover = 138% of wages

Commuter—Gas Savings Assumptions:
• Commuting miles/day = 30
• % Reduction in driving = 75%

Consumer—Time Savings Assumptions:
• Average commute = 52 minutes round trip; Low = 29 minutes; High = 79 minutes

Community—Oil Savings Assumptions:
• Import cost = $80.07/barrel
• 19.6 gallons of gas per barrel of crude
• Persian Gulf oil imports = 790 million barrels

Greenhouse Gas Savings (GHG) Assumptions:
• U.S. GHG reduction stated in million metric tons (MMT)
• One gallon of gas = 20.9 pounds of greenhouse gases
• Equivalent cars based on 5.5 average tons of GHG per car/year
• Goal for greenhouse gas reduction by 2020 = 17% of 2005 levels for CO2



Learn more about workshifting at the Telework Research Network.

Read the entire Workshifting Benefits: The Bottom Line report.


Further Reading

Work/Life Balance – What is it?

Read other articles on Work/Life Balance on the Redfish Resource Sitehttp://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e36uubh0ghgit44y/start

Work/Life Balance Survey – Take a minute to weigh in and win our everlasting gratitude!

Work/Life Balance: What is it? [part 1]

Filed under: Candidate / Job Seeker, Employer, Talent Retention, Work-Life Balance

http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e36uubh0ghgit44y/startWork/Life Balance

What is it?

In preparation for closing out the year and starting fresh with New Years resolutions and a new lease on life, we reviewed copious amounts of literature on work/life balance. This is really a subjective and amorphous little topic that gets a lot of mileage out there. But what is it really? And how do you get there? Read more »

Make Your Offer Bullet-Proof; Close the Candidate from the Get-Go

Filed under: Best Practices, Employer, Hiring Strategies, Human Resources / Capital, Talent Acquisition

Make Your Offer Bullet-Proof; Close the Candidate from the Get-Go

The cost of hiring is significant. It starts with the effort undertaken by the hiring manager, HR and participating staff. Much time is invested from studying the department’s need and formulating the requirements, to advertising, recruiting and interviewing. Once you find the right candidate, you are almost there. But it’s not over yet.

Despite the high unemployment rate, it is not a slam dunk. Many good candidates are receiving multiple offers, and many applicants are still employed and need to be certain that your company is the right move for them at this time. You need to sell the company and the opportunity. You need to close the candidate. Read more »

Should Your Company Go Virtual? – Here’s a Great Article from Inc. Magazine

Filed under: Employer, Human Resources / Capital

34 million Americans are working from home at least part time. Virtual companies are deriving many advantages, and face new issues, when going virtual. Advantages include infrastructure cost savings and the ability to draw from a larger talent pool; challenges include client perception.

The article The Case, and the Plan, for the Virtual Company: How smart entrepreneurs are finding money and happiness in an office-free life by Max Chafkin, Inc.’s senior writer, discusses Inc. Magazine’s experiment in going virtual and various issues to consider. Read more »