NewsRoundup

The Roundup will be brought to you in July and August by the new Work and Family Researchers Network (WFRN), an international membership organization for interdisciplinary work and family academics. The WFRN welcomes the participation of policy makers and practitioners as it seeks to promote knowledge and understanding of work and family issues among the community of global stakeholders. The Roundup is a compilation of the latest news articles, reports and other materials related to workplace flexibility delivered to your inbox on Monday and Thursday. In the fall, the WFRN will launch its new website which will include a News Feed among other features. We hope that you will get involved as a member and by posting the latest news. Questions?

November 2, 2010

Articles

And iPhone Makes Three: Marriage In The Digital Age

Jennifer Ludden • NPR - Morning Edition • November 2, 2010

“With dinner over and the dishes done, the couple might settle in to watch TV. It could be a cozy time to reconnect at the end of the day. That is, if Sorin didn’t have to manage work e-mails on his iPhone — again. [. . .] Sorin can’t avoid working evenings — he manages staff in time zones around the world.”

Sick at work? Health experts say ‘go home’

Suzanne Hoholik • Columbus Dispatch, OH • October 31, 2010

“During the H1N1 flu outbreak last year, health experts repeatedly told sick workers to stay home.  The thought was that it was better for one person to be off work a couple of days rather than spread the virus around the workplace. [. . .] A bad economy riddled with layoffs has added to the pressure some employees feel to go to work sick and tough it out. And many people don’t have paid sick days.”

The New Momism

Judith Warner • New York Times • October 29, 2010

“In an age when ‘the mommy brain’ is now considered a greatly superior organ — uniquely suited for multitasking, specialty-schooled in the challenges of diplomacy and budgeting, grounded in the can-do here and now rather than in the hopelessly abstract or esoteric — being a mom (the ‘just’ has been dropped) is now frequently spun as a prime career asset, particularly in the world of politics.”

Relaunching Your Career

Author Unlisted • ABC News • October 29, 2010

“Carol Fishman Cohen, author of Back On Track offers tips on rejoining workforce.”

Blogs

Women and Workplace Flexibility: Canaries in the Coal Mine

Betsy Bagley • Glass Hammer • November 2, 2010

“The 90-year old Women’s Bureau is charged with serving and promoting the interests of working women. A priority for Ms. Solis and the DoL is to improve the lives of working families. These goals can only be achieved through equal access and utilization of workplace flexibility by both men and women in our country. When families are truly sharing the three jobs for two parents, and workplaces offer the tools for managing that interface, both businesses and families will prosper.”

A small business model for flexible workplaces

Kimberly Bunting and Katherine Zimmerman • Hill - Congress Blog • November 1, 2010

“The choices employees across the country face aren’t easy, but in some cases they’re plain impossible.  It’s shocking to learn that two-fifths of private sector workers in the U.S. – and four out of five of the lowest-wage workers – don’t have a single paid sick day on the job. Their unenviable decision: either go to work ill, or lose a paycheck for staying home with a sick kid or getting well themselves.  For us, flexibility is the right thing to do. It’s also the smart thing to do.”

Is Election Day Too Inconvenient for Workers?

Sue Shellenbarger • Wall Street Journal - The Juggle • November 1, 2010

“Finding time to vote on Election Day can be tough for working parents, but many states have been making it easier by expanding balloting over several weeks. At least one in three ballots in the midterm elections will be cast well before Election Day.”

Worker Rights and Poverty: When Wages Just Aren’t Enough

Andrea Lindemann • Sloan Work and Family Blog • November 1, 2010

“A job is not enough to ensure economic well-being for many Americans.  Many employment laws and policies are so weak and do little to nothing to protect workers. For example, there is no national law requiring employers to provide paid family leave or paid sick days.  [. . .] Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity: The Source for News, Ideas and Action is a one-stop-shop for news and data on poverty.  It provides a platform for exchanging diverse perspectives to develop innovative solutions to poverty.”

Workforce Flexibility Promotes Employment of People with Disabilities

Robin Shaffert • Huffington Post • October 29, 2010

“[…] advocates for increasing workforce flexibility and advocates for improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities should recognize the progress we have made. To a far greater extent than a year ago, it is generally agreed today that creating a flexible workplace benefits all employees, but it especially benefits employees with disabilities.  We need to also recognize how far we still have to go to achieve the promise of equal employment opportunity for people with disabilities.”

We Need Men

Vivia Chen • Law.com - The Careerist • October 29, 2010

“Joan Williams, the director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of Law, has long worked in the work/life balance trenches. She’s written a new book, Reshaping the Work-Family Debate: Why Men and Class Matter.  Recently, I talked to her about what makes her book on this well-trodden subject different.”

Global News

What we can learn from workaholic monkeys

Siri Agrell • Globe and Mail, Canada • November 2, 2010

“Without dopamine, the monkeys worked blindly at any task they were given – even if their new, improved work ethic earned them no additional reward.  Sound familiar?  The study suggests that our current cultural predilection toward busyness may be a simple case of bad wiring. Do we work so hard because our brains are broken?  Whatever the answer, there does seem to be an expanding cultural disconnect between effort and reward. People are working harder and feel more stress, but are reluctant to make any major change.”

Once Unheard of in Asia, Flexible Work Practices Gain Traction

Chris Prystay • CNBC • November 1, 2010

“Flexible work arrangements, uncommon in Asia in the past, are gaining traction in the region as countries like Singapore battle with a falling fertility rate and a greying population. The city state has introduced a raft of measures over the last five years, including two funds that have together dispersed grants to nearly 800 companies like KH Security. Companies are slowly warming up to the idea: the number of firms in Singapore with flexible work arrangements has increased from 19.1 percent in 2000 to 27.5 percent in 2008, according to the Ministry of Manpower.”