Today’s Workforce is Running out of Time
Employers are looking for ways to help their workforce manage work and home lives with less stress.
Today’s Workforce has less time than ever before. With more duel income households, the time for handling routine household issues such as waiting for the repairman or for a delivery are becoming more difficult. Add to this the fact that shortly, 1 out of 2 employees will be dealing with taking care of one or even both parents along with their own children–Is it a wonder that employees are feeling stressed?
Many employers have put in place either benefits or policies that can help employees manage their time. By implementing these policies, an employer is able to retain valuable employees, reduce unplanned absences, increase productivity and be competitive with other employers. This allows an employer to attract talented people to their organization. If handled with care, the advantages can outweigh the cost.
Flex Time and Place
In order to give employees more freedom to handle family or household issues, some employers will allow them to be more flexible in the time they are physically at work. This can include allowing an employee to change their start or leave time within a range of time. Another option is to allow employees to compress their workweek. This means an employee can work longer hours during the week to allow for more days off. Finally, many employers are allowing employees to work from home either on a periodic basis or on a scheduled basis.
Another area employers can help is by giving employees a choice in how they manage their time at work. This includes giving them a choice in when they take breaks (within a specified time range) to handle outside issues. Some employers allow employees to choose a shift that works best for their family. In dual income households with child(ren) this can be a valuable benefit by allowing parents to reduce the time required for costly daycare. Another option is to allow the employee to have some control over paid verses unpaid overtime hours. However caution should be used in this area to ensure you don’t run afoul of the FSLA regulations.
Here an employer can help by allowing caregivers a reduced work schedule as they return to work. Another way is to give employees time off with pay or give them time off without pay with no impact on their job. In other words, they don’t have to worry if they need time off to handle family or household problems that their job will be in jeopardy. As with any of these policies, care should be given to ensure you are following FMLA rules (when warranted) and also to make sure any restrictions are clearly understood. Finally, consistency is important. All employees should be handled in the same manner to avoid misunderstandings.
Flexible Career Paths
Here an employer may work with employees at various stages of their career. By providing policies that allow the employee to work at home while on maternity leave or while recovering from a disability and then providing a reduced work schedule upon return allows you to keep valuable resources. As an employee moves towards retirement, some employers offer reduced hours. Employers who use this approach view the employee’s whole career and value to the company instead of just a few moments in time. As the baby boomers reach retirement age, many employers will be looking at ways to keep these valuable assets and a reduction of hours or even allowing them to work from home part-time will help with the retention.
Benefits and/or Services
An employer can help employees by providing benefits or services such as Eldercare referral services. The addition of a Dependent Care Account (DCAP) that allows employees to pay for elder daycare services on a tax reduced basis can help your employees financially. Employers can provide an EAP plan where employees can get assistance in handling the stress involved with being either a caregiver, in a dual income household or dealing with personal issues. A few employers even offer concierge services to help employees with things like scheduling, grocery shopping, dry-cleaning or other services that they find they no longer have time to handle.
As we move forward in time, employers will need to ask themselves should they help employees manage their time or will they remain locked in the past with policies and benefits that don’t appeal to today’s workforce. Have you implemented any of these benefits and/or policies? Why not share your experience below in the comments.
BCL Systems, Inc.
The source in Human Resources
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