Comptroller Stringer: Flexible Work Arrangements Promote Work-Life Balance and Improve Bottom Line
|Targeted News Service|
Flexible work arrangements can improve productivity and job satisfaction while helping
"If New York City is to remain a global economic power, government must support and encourage policies that view family and work demands as complementary, not competing interests," Comptroller Stringer said. "Flexible work arrangements are about making sure that caregivers, parents and low-income workers have less conflict between their work and personal lives, while employers get a more dedicated and productive workforce."
The report, "Families and Flexibility: Reshaping the Workplace for the 21st Century (http://comptroller.nyc.gov/wp-content/uploads/documents/Families_and_Flexibility.pdf)" highlighted the following data in support of why flexible work schedules are necessary:
* 75 percent of employees report not having enough time to spend with their children.
* 65 percent of caregivers report that they have to shift their arrival or departure time or take time off from work to provide elder care. This number will rise as the City's senior population increases 40 percent over the next 25 years.
* Over 57 percent of low-income working families are headed by single parents, the vast majority of whom work.
* Lower-income workers are more likely to provide care to their aging parents than those in higher-income brackets.
Comptroller Stringer recommended further examination of "Right to Request" legislation that creates a formal mechanism for workers and employers to discuss workplace flexibility options, and provides specific procedures to address requests. "Right to Request" laws do not mandate that employers provide flexible arrangements. However, by providing employees with opportunities to request flexibility without fear of reprisal, they help to break down the stigma associated with non-traditional workplace arrangements.
"It's time for the public and private sectors to work together to reshape the workplace. 'Right to Request' legislation would create a process to discuss flexible arrangements. Whether it's in finance or law, retail or health care, all industries can benefit from flexible work arrangements.
FWAs can also help to close the persistent wage gap between women and men by making it easier for women to stay in the workforce. As detailed in a report (http://comptroller.nyc.gov/wp-content/uploads/documents/Equal_Pay_Gender_Wage_Gap_Report.pdf) issued by Comptroller Stringer earlier this year, the pay gap between women and men increases dramatically once women have children. While mothers are the primary or co-breadwinners in almost two-thirds of American families, women in
FWAs are also good for businesses, big and small.
The report makes several recommendations on how businesses can embrace more flexibility in the workplace:
* Establishing a mutual commitment to an honest, two-sided exchange between employee and employer to create a formal mechanism to discuss workplace flexibility options.
* Ensuring that where appropriate for a particular company, all or most employees are able to enjoy the benefits of flexible scheduling, not simply those at the top of the organization.
* Conducting an ongoing evaluation of the effects of flexible work arrangements on individual employee performance and on business profitability.
"A Better Balance applauds Comptroller
"In the city that never sleeps, too many working men and women are struggling to meet the oft-competing demands of their job and personal life," said U.S. Rep.
"As the need for workplace flexibility grows,
"The work-life balance is an issue that concerns me deeply as both a legislator and an advocate for women's issues. I want to thank Comptroller Stringer for releasing a report that highlights the need to provide both flexibility and support in the workplace for
"The right to request workplace flexibility both empowers employees to ask for arrangements that accommodate their family life - and also rewards employers with increased productivity and loyalty. It is a necessity in today's economy. I thank Comptroller Stringer for highlighting this important issue," said Manhattan Borough President
"As a new mother, I have a first-hand understanding of how essential a work-life balance is," said Council Member
"We are proud to stand in solidarity with workers in the
"Working women's right to make their own decisions about when and whether to have children unquestionably intersects with their ability to balance both work and family. Because women more often bear primary care-giving responsibilities, workplace flexibility is central to not just women's economic stability, but also to their family stability. I commend Comptroller
"When Pauline, a sheet metal journey worker asked for several days off to care for her daughter, her employer warned her that she would not have a job to come back to. This legislation will help working families not have to make a decision between earning a living and caring for their families. Comptroller
"As a parent working in the retail industry, my erratic work schedule means I don't know when I can care for my son. The right to request a more flexible schedule would allow me to plan for childcare consistently and spend time with my child. As a member of the
"Required to always be 'available' to work, yet often under-scheduled with hours that vary unpredictably week to week, low-wage workers today have little say over how much and when they work. While the lowest paid workers have the least input into their schedules, we all juggle responsibilities at work and at home and need more voice in the hours we work. Comptroller
"Many working women in
"It is a business imperative for companies to recognize the power and competitive advantage of adopting flexible workplace practices. When careful thought is given to doing this correctly, the dividends are huge - for both employees and the bottom line of businesses. Ryan has seen its R.O.I. in all areas improve dramatically as a direct result of transforming our workplace culture. We commend Comptroller Stringer on his report calling attention to this issue," said
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