Thursday, May 22, 2008
The Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) at Cornell Industrial & Labor Relations brings to our attention the latest edition of a study of U.S. workplaces on flexible workplaces.
[The study] finds that employers with more women and more minorities in top positions, and nonprofits organizations, are more likely to offer flexible workplaces. These are just two of the significant findings to emerge from the landmark 2008 National Study of Employers (NSE), released today by Families and Work Institute . . . .
First conducted in 1998, the 2008 NSE is the most comprehensive and far-reaching study of initiatives provided by U.S. employers to address the changing needs of today’s workforce. Designed by Families and Work Institute and conducted by Harris Interactive, Inc., the NSE interviewed 1,100 employers with 50 or more employees located throughout the United States and provides trend data on changes that have occurred over the past 10 years. The study addresses questions such as:
* What is the prevalence of programs, policies, and benefits that address the needs of the changing workforce, including workplace flexibility, caregiving leaves, child and elder care assistance, and health care/economic security benefits?
* Are smaller or larger employers more likely to provide these programs, policies, and benefits?
* Have these initiatives increased or decreased in the past ten years?
* Which employers provider higher levels of support to their employees?
“There has been surprising stability in many of the practices, policies and programs of U.S. employers over the past 10 years,” said Ellen Galinsky, president and founder of Families and Work Institute and lead author of the study. “The NSE confirms that in the face of economic volatility companies have generally held steady or reduced benefits that carry hard costs. Yet in certain areas including domestic partner benefits and access to information on support services we are seeing an expansion of benefits. We find it particularly interesting that having an employee base composed of a greater percentage of women, or the presence of women and minorities in senior positions, is correlated with a more flexible workplace.”
Count me as unsurprised. This is exactly what happens when the decisionmakers themselves require a flexible workplace.