Source: Tillie McInnis, Refinery29, May 12, 2017
….Paid leave allows a worker to take time off in order to prioritize wellness, family, and life outside of work without losing pay (or risking their job security). Paid leave includes, but is not limited to family leave, personal leave, and sick leave. It seems like a simple concept that everyone should have access to, yet 61% of those on the lowest rungs of the income ladder don’t have a single paid sick day, and only 13% of U.S. workers have some paid family leave through their employers. It feels almost too obvious to be highlighting, but it’s an important point: Paid sick days are good for workers, and they don’t cost businesses much. Compared to other developed countries, the U.S. is seriously lagging in paid leave. We are one of the few developed countries still having contentious debates about abortion, and yet when a child is born, there are few to no laws in place that help children and families thrive. We put businesses first, claiming that it is too costly for employers to provide paid sick days, but as research shows, that is simply not the case. In New York City specifically, businesses surveyed found little to no increase in costs when they started to provide employees with paid sick days…..
How America Treats Working Moms Like Shit
Source: Laura Smith, Mother Jones, May/June 2017
….As many have pointed out, all moms are working moms, regardless of whether they are paid for their work. But as sociologist Arlie Hochschild put it in her book The Second Shift, mothers juggling housework with a day job enjoy a “double burden.” In time for Mother’s Day, here’s a short history of some of America’s most underappreciated employees…..
Source: Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn, Lonnie Golden, Applied Research in Quality of Life, Forthcoming, Posted: 11 May 2017
From the abstract:
We study how working schedule flexibility (flextime) affects happiness. We use a US General Social Survey (GSS) pooled dataset containing the Quality of Worklife and Work Orientations modules for 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014. We retain only respondents who are either full-time or part-time employees on payrolls. For flextime to be associated with greater happiness, it has to be more than just sometimes flexible or slight input into one’s work schedule, that is, little flextime does not increase happiness. But substantial flextime has large effect on happiness–the size effect is about as large as that of household income, or about as large as one-step increase in self-reported health, such as up from good to excellent health. Our findings provide support for both public and organizational policies that would promote greater work schedule flexibility or control for employees.
Source: Sung Min Park, Maria Ernita Joaquin, Kyoung Ryoul Min, Reginald G. Ugaddan, American Review of Public Administration, Online First, First Published May 4, 2017
From the abstract:
With heightened bureaucratic bashing and the planned reorganization of the U.S. federal bureaucracy, hiring is going to be difficult, but what could make those already in the service satisfied and willing to stay in their jobs? How could flexible work systems have an impact on worker job satisfaction and turnover intention? Using hierarchical linear modeling, we explore the impact of alternative work systems on employee job satisfaction and turnover intention in the context of values underlying managerial reforms. Flexible work systems are found to have a positive impact moderated by the kind of values promoted by particular reforms. A discussion on the main findings, research, and practical implications for public human resource management theory and practice is provided.
Source: M. Keith Chen, Judith A. Chevalier, Peter E. Rossi, Emily Oehlsen, National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER Working Paper No. 23296, March 2017
From the abstract:
Participation in flexible contract work has increased dramatically over the last decade, often in settings where new technologies lower the transaction costs of providing labor flexibly. One prominent example of this is the ride-sharing company Uber, which allows drivers to provide (or not provide) rides anytime they are willing to accept prevailing prices for this service. An Uber-style arrangement offers workers flexibility in both setting a customized work schedule and also adjusting it throughout the day. Using high-frequency data of hourly earnings for Uber drivers, we document the ways in which drivers utilize this real-time flexibility and we estimate the driver surplus generated by this flexibility. We estimate how drivers’ reservation wages vary in high frequency from hour to hour, which allows us to study the surplus and supply implications of both flexible and traditional work arrangements. Our results indicate that, while the Uber relationship may have other drawbacks, Uber drivers benefit significantly from real-time flexibility, earning more than twice the surplus they would in less flexible arrangements. If required to supply labor inflexibly at prevailing wages, they would also reduce the hours they supply by more than two-thirds. The implications of our findings for the future of flexible work are discussed.
Source:Kenneth Matos, Ellen Galinsky and James T. Bond, Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 2017
The National Study of Employers is a comprehensive look at employer practices, policies, programs and benefits that address personal and family needs of employees. The survey of more than 900 U.S. employers with 50 or more employees was conducted by the Families and Work Institute and is released by SHRM as part of the When Work Works initiative.
The study provides insight into how employers are responding to the changing demographics of the workforce over time and examines flexible work arrangements, paid and unpaid parental and other caregiver leave, and elder care assistance, among other practices. This is the sixth published study since the project was launched in 1998.
Key findings include:
• Small employers (50-99 employees) were more likely than large employers (1,000 or more employees) to offer all or most employees 1) traditional flextime, the ability to periodically change start and stop times (36% vs. 17%), 2) control over when to take breaks (63% vs. 47%) and time off during the work day to attend to important family or personal needs without loss of pay (51% vs. 33%).
• Growth of workplace flexibility has been stable over the past four years. Out of 18 forms of flexibility studied, there were only four changes:
• An increase in employers that offer telework, allowing employees to work at least some of their paid hours at home on a regular basis (40% in 2016 vs. 33% in 2012).
• An increase in employers that allow employees to return to work gradually after childbirth or adoption (81% in 2016 vs. 73% in 2012).
• An increase in organizations that allow employees to receive special consideration after a career break for personal/family responsibilities (28% in 2016 vs. 21% in 2012).
• A decrease in organizations that allow employees to take time off during the workday to attend to important family or personal needs without loss of pay (81% in 2016 vs. 87% in 2012).
Source: Tasneem Rajamar, Mother Jones, April 2017
Remote jobs are great for work-life balance—and democracy. ….. By 2020, Dell hopes that half its workforce will be doing at least some remote work. A report released by the company in June 2016 found that thanks to telecommuting, 35,000 US employees each saved the equivalent of one metric ton of carbon dioxide on average every year—even when you consider the extra energy required for heat and lights in a home office….. What’s more, a group of researchers found that for low-income people, the longer their commute is, the less likely they are to vote. And another study shows that no other daily activity brings out as many negative emotions as the morning commute—not dealing with the kids, cleaning the dishes, or even being at work. When you’re already stressed out and annoyed, finding the energy to engage politically is just that much harder…..
The Sustainability Benefits of the Connected Workplace
Source: John Pflueger, Sarah Gibson, Christian Normand, Dell, June 2016
The “Daily Grind” – Work, Commuting, and Their Impact on Political Participation
Source: Benjamin J. Newman, Joshua Johnson, Patrick L. Lown, American Politics Research, Vol 42, Issue 1, 2014
Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being
Source: Daniel Kahneman and Alan B. Krueger, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 20, Number 1, Winter 2006
Source: Phyllis Moen, Erin L. Kelly, Shi-Rong Lee, J. Michael Oakes, Wen Fan, Jeremy Bray, David Almeida, Leslie Hammer, David Hurtado, Orfeu Buxton, Social Problems, Advance Access, First published online: 29 December 2016
From the abstract:
We draw on panel data from a randomized field experiment to assess the effects of a flexibility/supervisor support initiative called STAR on turnover intentions and voluntary turnover among professional technical workers in a large firm. An unanticipated exogenous shock—the announcement of an impending merger—occurred in the middle of data collection. Both organizational changes reflect an emerging employment contract characterized by increasing employee temporal flexibility even as employers wield greater flexibility in reorganizing their workforces. We theorized STAR would reduce turnover intentions and actual turnover by making it more attractive to stay with the current employer. We found being in a STAR team (versus a usual practice team) lowered turnover intentions 12 months later and reduced the risk of voluntary turnover over almost three years. We also examined potential mechanisms accounting for the effects of these two organizational changes; STAR effects on reducing turnover intentions are partially mediated by reducing work-to-family conflict, family-to-work conflict, burnout, psychological distress, perceived stress, and increasing job satisfaction. The effect of learning about the merger on increasing turnover intentions is fully mediated by increased job insecurity. STAR also moderates the negative effects of learning about the merger on turnover intentions for different subgroups. Findings provide insights into the effectiveness of an organizational intervention, the dynamics of organizations, and how competing logics of two organizational changes affect employees’ labor market expectations and behavior.
Source: Jon C. Messenger, Lutz Gschwind, New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 31, Issue 3, November 2016
From the abstract:
‘New ICTs’, such as smartphones and tablet computers, have revolutionised work and life in the 21st Century. Crucial to this development is the detachment of work from traditional office spaces. Today’s office work is often supported by Internet connections, and thus can be done from anywhere at any time. Research on detachment of work from the employer’s premises actually dates back to the previous century. In the 1970s and 1980s, Jack Nilles and Allan Toffler predicted that work of the future would be relocated into or nearby employees’ homes with the help of technology, called ‘Telework’. Analysing technological advancements — the enabling forces of change in this context — over four decades sheds new light on this term: they have fostered the evolution of Telework in distinct stages or ‘generations’. Today’s various location‐independent, technology‐enabled new ways of working are all part of the same revolution in the inter‐relationship between paid work and personal life.
Source: David Lee, Sun Young Kim, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Published online before print December 4, 2016
From the abstract:
This article examines the causal effects of telework eligibility and participation on employee attitudes, including perceived fairness, job satisfaction, and intention to stay, in the U.S. federal government. Drawing on the literatures on social exchange and organizational justice, we investigate how telework eligibility and participation influence employee attitudes and whether different reasons for nonparticipation have varying impacts. Our findings show that those employees who are eligible to telework report higher levels of perceived fairness, job satisfaction, and intention to stay than do those employees who are ineligible. On the other hand, the effects of telework participation on employee attitudes depend upon the reasons why nonparticipants do not telework. Specifically, when employees do not telework because of insufficient technical or managerial support, they report significantly lower levels of perceived fairness, job satisfaction, and intention to stay than do teleworkers. However, nontelework due to job requirements or personal choice does not have significant, negative effects on work attitudes.
Source: Lori L. Wadsworth, Rex L. Facer, Public Personnel Management, Vol. 45 no. 4, December 2016
From the abstract:
In 2008, the State of Utah implemented a 4-day workweek for their employees. This article examines the impact on employees using a postimplementation survey. For employees on the 4-day schedule, there were no significant differences by gender on work–family balance or on the impact of the schedule. However, women did demonstrate slightly more positive attitudes toward the 4-day schedule. Employees with children at home reported lower work–family balance and greater impact of the 4-day schedule. In contrast, no difference in attitudes toward the 4-day schedule was found by age, although work–family balance differed among age groups. There were differences in work–family balance between employees on the 4-day schedule and those on traditional schedules; however, the more substantial factor was whether an employee selected his or her schedule. The current study highlights the importance of engaging employees when making significant organizational changes, such as transitioning from traditional work schedules to alternative schedules.