Tag Archives: Workplace Flexibility

working parents

Handling the Clash of Parenting and Work in a Pandemic [Video]

Last week I had a chance to bring together an amazing panel to talk about how to support parents in a challenging work environment. This conversation featured:

  • Donielle Buie, HR leader in charge of employee wellbeing at the Broad Institute
  • Shana Sweeney, CHRO of SugarCRM
  • Jonathan Corke, marketing leader at Bright Horizons

In the video below, you can hear each of these leaders talking about how they are tackling the challenge of supporting parents, regardless of whether work is remote or not. Some of the resources shared by the panelists include:

Speaking of human problems, I’ll be leading a session later this week on the human skills of work. We keep hearing about AI and automation, but the truth is that there are certain things humans need to do, even with smart algorithms and systems taking over parts of HR. Listen in to hear what kinds of skills will matter as work continues to evolve!

If you are experiencing this or have other friends in HR that are trying to make sense of the challenge of supporting working parents, please check out the video for some great ideas and strategies to make this more manageable for all of us.

working parents

Childcare, School, and the Workforce: Practical Ideas for a Universal Challenge

A new study shows childcare shortages in the U.S. are costing employers $12.7 billion a year due to lost productivity. As the dad of four kids ages 10 and under, I can understand where the numbers are coming from.

Over the last few months, we’ve seen tremendous growth in the number of conversations about childcare and how it relates to the workplace. COVID-19 shutdowns have put parents in the stressful situation of struggling to balance work while having children at home. Add to that discussions about virtual schooling, and it’s easy to see how this has become a central pain point for employees – and the organizations frantically trying to support them.

In this livestream session to be held on Tuesday, September 1st at 12:00 central (1:00p eastern, 10:00a pacific), panelists will bring a diverse set of perspectives, eye-opening data, and concrete examples to help employers consider how they can support parents in the workforce.

However, I’d also love to hear from YOU during this session. Has anything worked well for you? What has been your experience? How can we learn from each other and from our set of expert panelists and practitioners? After all, a rising tide lifts all ships, and any knowledge shared in this area makes for better outcomes for all of us.

pay commuting

Should Employees be Paid for Commuting Time?

An interesting piece of research on publicly available WiFi access in England led to a question that made me pause. Should employees be paid for commuting time?

As someone that travels a fair bit for work, I know the value of being able to connect and work from any number of strange locations–restaurants, hotel lobbies, airports, etc. But what about the commutes that make up a significant part of the day for so many workers? From the piece:

Interviews with customers revealed why internet access was as important for commuters as business travellers. Many respondents expressed how they consider their commute as time to ‘catch up’ with work, before or after their traditional working day. This transitional time also enabled people to switch roles, for example from being a parent getting the kids ready for school in the morning to a business director during the day.

Until now, there has been little research to evaluate the impact free Wi-Fi provision has had in the UK, despite government encouragement for companies to provide access on transport networks. The researchers looked to Scandinavia to see how commuting time could be measured differently, and found that in Norway some commuters are able to count travel time as part of their working day.

Dr Juliet Jain told the conference: “If travel time were to count as work time, there would be many social and economic impacts, as well as implications for the rail industry. It may ease commuter pressure on peak hours and allow for more comfort and flexibility around working times. However it may also demand more surveillance and accountability for productivity.”

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Workplace Flexibility: What’s Changing (and What’s Not) #shrmtalent #workflex

Earlier today the latest workplace flexibility research from the Families and Work Institute and SHRM came out, and there were some very interesting data points in the study. A few quick hits from the 2014 National Study of Employers (link to the full study below):

  • The presence of women/minorities impacts offerings: Organizations with more women and racial or ethnic minorities who are in or report to executive leadership positions are more likely to offer a high level of health care and economic security benefits than organizations with fewer women/minorities in those positions.
  • How are employers preparing their people? Employers are more likely to provide training for supervisors in managing diversity and least likely to have a leadership development program for women (63% vs 11%).
  • The all important culture discussion: Respondents were asked to assess the supportiveness of their workplace cultures… The majority of respondents indicated “very true” to statements assessing whether supervisors are encouraged to assess employee performance by what they accomplish rather than “face time” (64%) and whether supervisors are encouraged to be supportive of employees with family needs and by finding solutions that work for both employees and the organization (58%). Far fewer employers, however, responded “very true” to statements asking whether management rewards those within the organization who support flexible work arrangements (11%) and whether their organization makes a real and ongoing effort to inform employees of the availability of work-life assistance (24%).
  • Twenty one percent of employers overall indicated they must comply with the FMLA but fail to offer at least 12 weeks of paid or unpaid leave for at least one type of leave. In other words, approximately one in five employers appear to be out of compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act.

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