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 5, 2010

Articles

U.S. Added Jobs Last Month for First Time Since May

Catherine Rampell • New York Times • November 5, 2010

“Private companies added 159,000 jobs in October, while governments cut 8,000 jobs in the month. [. . .] The unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.6 percent in October.  A broader measure of unemployment, which includes people who are working part-time because they cannot find full-time jobs and people who have given up looking for work, ticked down slightly to 17 percent from 17.1 percent in September.”

Only 46% of Workers Plan To Use All Their Vacation Time This Year

Author Unlisted • Rasmussen Reports • November 4, 2010

“So much for work-life balance.  Fewer than half of workers nationwide plan to use all of their vacation time this year, and a majority says they stay connected with work during the time-off they do take.  The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Employed Adults shows that just 46% plan to use all of their vacation time this year.”

When unemployment extensions end, a movement rises: the 99ers

Margaret Price • Christian Science Monitor • November 4, 2010

“In the short term, many activist 99ers are pushing for passage of the Americans Want to Work Act, a Senate bill that would provide 20 additional weeks – a so-called Tier V – of unemployment insurance. The 99ers, who often find each other through social media, also talk about organizing around other related issues. Although their ranks are growing, they face an uphill battle persuading Congress to act.”

Goldman “mommy track” lawsuit ends

Jonathan Strempel, Reporter; Andre Grenon, Editor • Reuters • November 4, 2010

“Goldman Sachs Group Inc no longer faces a bias lawsuit by a former vice president who said the Wall Street bank put her on a ‘mommy track’ and fired her while she was on maternity leave.  Judge Robert Patterson dismissed the case brought by Charlotte Hanna in a two-sentence order filed late on Thursday with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.”

Going ROWE: ROWE Transition on “Pause”

Gadi Dechter • Center for American Progress • November 3, 2010

“Jody Thompson, co-inventor of ROWE, or the ‘results-only work environment,’ smiles as she watches the reactions of the dozen senior managers around the room, here for ‘leadership education.’  These supervisors are responsible for the hundreds of D.C. government workers scheduled to start transitioning on November 9 to the radically flexible workplace culture Thompson helped pioneer at the Minnesota headquarters of Best Buy in 2003. The idea is to redefine work by results achieved, not time invested, and let employees work where they want, when they want—so long as they meet predefined goals.”

Blogs

A Call to Incorporate Workplace Flexibility Into Law School Curricula

Marcy Karin • Huffington Post • November 4, 2010

“Let’s train the next generation of lawyers to critically think about the impact workplace flexibility has on our country and how it can lawfully support both employees and employers. So that when the worker, business, or government representative calls for advice, our future lawyers can provide an informed response.”

Dads Get Blue, Too

Emily Anthes • Slate • November 4, 2010

“Last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics officially recommended that pediatricians begin screening their infant patients’ mothers for signs of postpartum depression. [. . .] In a 2006 study, James Paulson, a psychologist at Eastern Virginia Medical School, assessed the parents of 5,089 infants and found that 14 percent of the mothers had signs of moderate to severe depression. And so did 10 percent of the fathers. Compare that with the 3 percent to 5 percent of men in the general population who are depressed (as well as the 8 percent or 9 percent of women).”

Business Case for Work/Life Balance -- Really?

Vivia Chen • Law.com - The Careerist • November 3, 2010

“The discourse on work/life balance seems to have taken on the tempo and tone of pep rallies and religious revivals. From what I’m hearing, there’s subtle pressure on women not to ask too many thorny questions or challenge the sacred cows that drive the work/life balance discussion.  This was reaffirmed earlier this week when I attended a luncheon featuring New York Times reporter Lisa Belkin and Flex-Time founder Deborah Epstein Henry.”

Remote Working and Productivity

Elizabeth Harris • Glass Hammer • November 3, 2010

“Productivity is up by 20% in those who work flexibly compared with those who don’t, he went on. BT have generated a saving of between £6million and £7million as a result of improved productivity.  Hegarty was speaking at the Remote Worker Awards in London recently, and he was just one of several employers who spoke about the value a flexible workforce offers their companies.”

Global News

Fathers are happier if they do more housework, study finds

Andy Bloxham • Telegraph, UK • November 5, 2010

“The researchers from the Lancaster University management school found that the most satisfied and least stressed fathers are those who have two children and have wives or girlfriends who work similar hours in an office.  They spent two years talking to over 1,000 working fathers to find out how they combined work and family life and how they would like it to change. Eighty-two per cent of the men said they would like more time with their family and most said it was not a woman’s job to look after children.”

Part-time work strikes a better work-life balance

Nicola Berkovic • Australian • November 5, 2010

“CONSTRUCTION and engineering lawyer Nick King has worked part-time for the past six years.  It’s not because he needs to look after the kids or is pursuing another interest, but because he prefers the work-life balance.”