APRIL 2, 2014
Research on workplace flexibility by Professor Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes of the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work and by the Sloan Center on Aging and Work has recently been highlighted nationally.
Pitt-Catsouphes spoke with Forbes magazine about the struggles of Americans balancing work and the care of elderly parents. Family caregivers tend "to report higher work-family conflict, higher stress, and an increase in depressive symptoms—which is particularly true when you compare elder care versus childcare."
Flexible schedules are an option, but Pitt-Catsouphes said, "it's important that flexibility be viewed as a resource rather than a break—and that employees demonstrate to managers that they're approaching it as a way to maintain strong professional performance even while dealing with a family crisis." More from Forbes »
In another recent article featured in the Boston College Chronicle, Pitt-Catsouphes noted that flexible work options are out of reach for most employees or are limited in size and scope. In a new study by the Sloan Center on Aging and Work, where Pitt-Catsouphes serves as director, she and her research collaborators examined the flexible work arrangements of 545 U.S. employers and found that only one in five companies offered more than one approach to workplace flexibility, despite the fact that different employees need different options.
The study, published in the journal Community, Work, and Family, found that employers and employees are better able to reap the benefits of workplace flexibility when the initiatives are comprehensive and well aligned with business priorities.
"What we're saying is flexibility can work if you make a commitment to making it work," Pitt-Catsouphes said. "Workplace flexibility is important to employees across the life course and can support the productive engagement of older employees as well as younger workers. In today's business environment, organizations need to be adaptive and nimble. Flexible work options offer tools that can help companies remain competitive." More from the Boston College Chronicle »