In the Spring of 2010, a bill was drafted and introduced in Congress. It was designed to award employers that develop and implement work-life balance policies. It was called The Work Life Balance Award Act. The bill did not go through. It failed in the House of Representatives. However, the struggle to achieve a work-life balance continues; so is the demand for greater employee benefits. Among the industrial nations, the United States, presumably the richest, offers fewer paid leave and work-life benefits to employees. One of the proposed legislations is the one that offers “employer paid family and parental leave, time off for parents to attend school activities, as well as incentives to companies that improve work-life policies.”
In an effort to retain top talents, a growing number of companies—mainly the high-tech and healthcare companies—are offering flexible times to employees and their families. For instance in Oregon, companies like Providence, Regence, Nike, and PGE promote good work-life balance as a benefit of working for their organization. Google, Yahoo and others are doing the same thing.
Countless studies on the subject have indicated that younger generation of workers—college graduates—strongly support greater flexibility than their parents did. This is due in part to our new era of technology that allows employees access to their work obligations anywhere and at any time. Employers seem to be okay with that. Furthermore, it gives companies that promote flexible time a competitive edge against their traditional counterparts.
These working arrangements have created better opportunities for workers to enjoy life to their fullest while being very productive in the workplace. According to Working Mother 2009, “A full one hundred percent of the recipients of the 100 Best Companies award by Working Mother’s Magazine offer telecommuting and flextime schedules, 98 percent offer job-sharing, and 94 percent offer compressed workweeks. These companies are also committed to helping working parents with their child-care needs: 86 percent provide backup care, and 62 percent provide sick-child care.”
Note: Jacob Davis is editorialist for CSMS Magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org