Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Employers Extending Flexibiliy to Working Snowbirds

Striking a similar theme to a Christian Science Monitor article, Jenn Abelson reports in the Boston Globe about employers, such as CVS, Borders, and Home Depot, that fear labor shortages as baby boomers age and allow workers to transfer to stores in warmer regions during winter. While the snowbird perk is usually available to all employees, it is mainly aimed at older workers. In fact, she reports that CVS has specifically "tried to attract older workers by tapping into senior centers to recruit staff and accommodating employees who have time-shares and second homes."

In addition, to the two-location workers, Ableson notes that employers, such as Bright Horizons, that are already used to offering flexible work environments for employees with young families are finding that older workers are now desiring them, too. Over the past five years, the number of Bright Horizons workers age 55 years and older jumped 81% to 1,054 from 583,and the company says it's willing to accommodate people, even if they want to work from home in warmer locations. Hoffer Serpa, a Bright Horizons spokeswoman, is quoted as saying: "There's a shift that recognized the fact that people without children have their own desires and needs for flexibility, whether it's caring for older parents or changing the place they live....It's easier to retain people than train people and so we want to help support people in every part of their life."

Source: "Snowbirds at work" The Boston Globe (March 1, 2006)

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