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Work / Life Issues

Draw attention to your perks during ‘Work & Family’ month


Supporting a balance between employees’ work lives and personal lives "is in the best interest of national worker productivity." At least that’s what Congress declared in 2003 when it decreed that October shall be deemed "National Work & Family Month" …

Housing grants help employees reduce their commutes


While some Baltimore residents suffer through a one- or two-hour commute every morning, employees at Johns Hopkins University are sleeping a little later. Since the university began participating in Baltimore’s "Live Near Your Work" program in 1998, about 220 employees have received $2,000 grants to buy homes close to the university’s three campuses …

‘Cool’ music company creates transition plan for new moms


Detroit-based music company, Handleman Co., hosts impromptu concerts in the lobby and gives free CDs to employees. Such perks landed the firm on a list of 60 "Cool Places to Work" in Michigan. But cool wasn’t cutting it for the company’s working moms, who wanted more flexibility after having babies …

Arkansas ‘Race Across State’ Contest Promotes Exercise


Employees from about three dozen public and private organizations in Arkansas are participating in a virtual race across the state as part of the Arkansas Fitness Challenge created by the state Department of Health and Blue Cross and Blue Shield …

Help parents navigate the college application process


Fred C. Church Insurance in Lowell, Mass., offers child care assistance for its young parents and retirement-planning advice for older employers. But it lacked benefits for workers with teenage children … Solution: The 130-employee company added a benefit that gives employees access to counselors who specialize in the college-application process …

Court ruling may discourage jobs for the financially troubled


A new ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes Texas) may encourage people who file Chapter 7 bankruptcy to remain unemployed until the court finalizes their bankruptcy …

Employees going to college? Help with tuition, career path


It’s back-to-school time, and not just for children. Many of your employees—and would-be employees—will enroll in college classes this fall. And while those courses will make employees more competent and promotion-worthy, they’ll also wreak havoc on their schedules, both at work and at home …

To boost productivity, teach money management


At least 15 percent of Americans are so stressed out about money that it affects their work, and about half say they spend more than 20 hours a week dealing with financial matters, says a Virginia Tech study. One solution: Ease employees’ financial pains—and bolster your organization’s retirement plan participation rates—by teaching employees how to better manage their money …

Low-Cost Summer Camp Help


The HR department at AstraZeneca’s U.S. headquarters helps employees who are parents line up summer camps for their kids by hosting a “camp fair” every spring …

Keeping employees green


Officials at Timberland Co. are helping to meet the outdoor-apparel maker’s commitment to environmental awareness—and helping employees reduce commuting costs—by offering their workers a $3,000 incentive to buy fuel-efficient hybrid cars …