Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Workplace Flexibility Groups Look To Greater Employer Engagement

The Sloan Foundation, which has funded numerous research studies around workplace flexibility, gathered many of those researchers and allied business and labor leaders, and government and military officials for a two-day effort to build on what Kathleen Christensen, Program Director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, termed a "growing consensus that workplace flexibility--in its many forms--can improve lives, support business objectives and strengthen the economy." Among the goals of the "Focus on Workplace Flexibility" gathering, held in Washington, DC, was to strengthen existing partnerships and to accelerate the process of making flexibility a standard of the American workplace. According to speakers, four-fifths of workers want flexibility, but only 29% have it, even though research shows that businesses do not lose profit by endorsing flexible workplaces.

Various research papers were presented at the event, including one focused on older workers ("Phased Retirement and Workplace Flexibility for Older Adults: Opportunities and Challenges" by Richard Johnson of the Urban Institute). In introducing some of these issues, Christensen noted how much is changing around retirement: retirement has become a joint decision for families for the first time, employees are working longer, and spouses are retiring at different times.

Source: Focus on Workplace Flexibility (November 29-30, 2010)

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