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Work / Life Issues

Inject more oversight, responsibility into flex schedules


Seems like many employees view flexible work arrangements as an entitlement these days—maybe because HR has pushed the idea for years as a way to accommodate work/life conflicts. Putting more structure and accountability into the process makes flexibility less of an ad hoc perk. Here are four ways to structure flexible work arrangements in a more systematic way …

Duke offers elder care for employees, community


When holidays bring together young and old family members, the brightly wrapped boxes under the tree don’t hold the only surprises. In fact, says Lisa Gwyther of Duke University Medical Center’s Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, holiday visits can expose an older family member’s frailties to the rest of the clan …

Hot dog! Chipotle employees can bring their pets to work


Ann Dowell’s two Yorkshire terriers are not just her pets; they are co-workers—sort of. Dowell, the executive HR director at Chipotle’s Denver headquarters, may bring her dogs to work as long as “they are well-behaved,” she says. The company has allowed dogs in the office since 1996 …

Friends of the Family isn’t just the company’s name


A Baltimore-based firm that helps employers and communities open day care centers is working with its own employees on their family ties. The 16 employees of Friends of the Family may take off a half-day a month—with pay—to spend time with family for any reason …

Workers pitch in to help colleagues cope with crises


When a Meridian Health employee lacked the money to bury a parent, she turned to the organization’s “When In Need” (WIN) employee emergency fund. Meridian Health, a group of nonprofit health care organizations in central New Jersey, created the WIN fund in 2001 …

Curb unscheduled absences with work/Life perks


Good news from the annual CCH Unscheduled Absence Survey: The absenteeism rate for U.S. businesses was 2.3% in 2007, down slightly from 2.5% last year. The bad news: Two-thirds of your employees who call in sick at the last minute aren’t really sick. Instead, they’re skipping work to deal with personal or family issues …

‘Hook’ employees to make your health fair a success


Health fairs teach employees about your organization’s wellness programs and encourage them to practice healthier habits—but only if they show up. To get your employees interested in blood-pressure screenings and dieting information, think of a hook that will draw them in …

8 little things managers can do to retain the best

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More employers try to regulate employees’ off-Duty behavior


To help control significant health care cost increases, many employers are trying to regulate employees’ off-duty behavior when they believe that it creates health risks. Although motivated by legitimate economic concerns, are these employers overstepping the boundaries of individual privacy? …

Time, room for breast-Feeding moms (Maybe a toilet, too)


An August amendment to the New York Labor Law guarantees time and space for breast-feeding mothers to express milk at work, but stops short of emancipating them from the lowly toilet stall …