Family-Friendly Work Options All Employees Can Use

Some companies like to tout themselves as being family-friendly, but are they really if their family-friendly policies only benefit married couples or employees raising children? “Family-friendly work options are not only for employees with immediate family,” says Eileen Timmins, Ph.D., founder of Aingilin. “Having diversity of options for the diverse workforce family is the key.” “Family” doesn’t necessarily refer to only spouses and minor children — it can encompass domestic partners, stepfamilies, aging parents and close aunts or uncles. Truly family-friendly policies also apply to singles and employees without children. Paid time off is one option all employees can use. “PTO is an option, but many more companies are using ‘take what you need’ time,” Timmins says. “An employee takes the time they need for vacation or sick time. It’s similar to an honor policy — if it becomes excessive, then the employer will approach the person and see if …

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How to Build an Effective Flexible Workplace

Companies are finding that providing employees with flexibility does more than help attract and retain top talent: It can also improve the bottom line. According to a study by Workplace Trends, almost 70 percent of human resources leaders use workplace flexibility programs for recruiting and retention. But more remarkably, almost three-quarters of companies that have work flexibility programs reported increased productivity, and more than 85 percent reported improved employee satisfaction. “Everyone’s work and personal lives are intertwined, and what happens in one part of a person’s life affects every other part,” says Laura Hamill, chief people officer at Limeade, which provides its employees with flexibility by allowing them to run errands or make appointments during the day, and by allowing everyone to work from home one day a week. Employees are likely to resent employers that expect them to work around the clock or be at work at certain times …

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How to Ask for a Flexible Schedule

When Janine Low found out she was pregnant, she asked her boss if she could bring her son to work when she returned to her job as vice president of marketing and operations for AvenueWest Global Franchise, and she was told she could — until he could walk. “When he started crawling and getting into everything, I asked if I could work from home two days a week,” Low says. That was almost three years ago, and she still works from home two days a week. “My advice to everyone is to always ask for what you need or want — the worst they can do is say no and at least this will open up the field for negotiation.” FlexJobs, a job search site that specializes in flexible jobs, says telecommuting and work-from-home options are growing, and more employers are considering 30-hour weeks and early, or late, start shifts. …

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How to Connect With Co-Workers When You Work From Home

Working from home has many fantastic benefits – no commute, no noisy and distracting co-workers, and no dress code. Many employees love it, and their companies enjoy the lower overhead costs that come from having fewer if any, staff in an office. Organizations save on electricity and furniture and enjoy increased productivity. It’s a win-win, almost. One thing that can suffer in a remote-work environment is the sense of teamwork and camaraderie. When there’s no watercooler, the friendly banter is gone. Without someone occasionally selling cookies or gift wrap, you learn a little less about your co-workers’ families and interests outside the office. It’s easy to settle into your work-at-home-bubble and feel isolated from the people you work with. Is there any way to develop cohesion and connect with co-workers when you’re not working in the same place? Yes. Here’s how. Collaborate Through Technology “Use various technology platforms to collaborate …

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Telecommuters are Likely to Pursue Fitness

Telecommuters are Likely to Pursue Fitness

Despite an abundance of evidence that regular exercise is important for good health, countless Americans are still too sedentary. In fact, about 50% of full-time employees in the U.S. don’t exercise through wellness programs at work — or anyplace else — according to a new survey of 617 full-time employees across the U.S., sponsored by Flex+Strategy Group & Work+Life Fit Inc. “Despite employers investing millions of dollars to promote employee health, almost half of the U.S. workplace does not budge,” said flexible workplace strategist Cali Williams Yost, the CEO of Flex+Strategy Group & Work+Life Fit Inc., a provider of workplace and individual wellness solutions. However, the research revealed employees who telecommute are far more likely than most of their office-based colleagues to pursue fitness outside of their workday. The survey found about 33% of employees who work on-site, especially those 30 and older, do participate in a workplace wellness program, if it’s available. …

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