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Flexible working still not catching on | dzone.com—Social Business

26 March 2014—Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes and Center's research were mentioned on dzone.com.

a new report published by the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College reveals that flexible working is largely out of reach for most employees.

“While large percentages of employers report that they have at least some workplace flexibility, the number of options is usually limited and they are typically not available to the entire workforce,” says Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Ph.D., Director of the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College and one of the researchers of the study. “We’re trying to help employers understand that flexible work initiatives work best if their organizations offer a comprehensive set of options. Employers who implement limited programs might become frustrated if they don’t see the outcomes they had hoped for saying, ‘Gosh, this didn’t help us at all’ or, ‘it didn’t help us with recruitment’ or ‘it didn’t help us with retention.’ In fact, it may not be that the flexible work options didn’t work. Rather, that the companies didn’t offer a sufficient range of options to the employees.”

The study pored over the flexible working arrangements in nearly 550 American companies to get to the bottom of what was happening. They found that by far the most popular means of flexible working involved allowing employees to move either the location they worked from or the hours they worked. Very few offered temporary reduction in hours or leave. What’s more, the flexibility that was on offer, was not offered to the entire workforce.

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