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?

December 10, 2010

Articles

Making Disability Work

Peter Orszag • New York Times • December 9, 2010

“One of the gravest dangers posed by the weak economy is that the unemployed will become discouraged and give up looking for work, perhaps permanently as their skills atrophy. This would be harmful not only to the workers and their families, but also to the economy as a whole, as those people would no longer contribute to economic growth. The longer the labor market remains sluggish, the more pronounced this risk becomes.”

How to Cram More Into 24 Hours

Sue Shellenbarger • Wall Street Journal • December 8, 2010

“Say goodbye to Post-It notes and giant paper calendars plastered on the fridge. Newer and easier applications can tackle time-management nightmares that plague working parents. Shared online calendars synch family members’ busy schedules; meal-planning websites help get home-cooked dinners on the table, and videoconferencing can link parents on the road with family at home. And while using technology to manage family life might seem to risk turning everyone into robots, parents say the tools help them feel calmer and more in control.”

Work Experience of the Population – 2009

• Bureau of Labor Statistics • December 8, 2010

“The percent of men who worked during 2009 was 70.6 percent, down from 73.1 per- cent in 2008. The proportion of women who worked at some point during 2009 was 59.6 percent, down from 61.3 percent in the prior year. [. . .] Of those employed at some time during 2009, 78.3 percent usually worked full time, down from 79.5 percent in 2008. Men were more likely to work full time during the year (84.4 percent) than were women (71.5 percent). In 2009, the proportions of em- ployed men and women working full time declined by 1.6 and 0.7 percentage points, respectively.”

Corner Office Turned Pressure Cooker

Joann S. Lublin • Wall Street Journal • December 7, 2010

“Jeffrey Kindler, who stepped down as Pfizer Inc.‘s chief executive on Sunday, citing burnout, is the rare CEO to say that the job wore him out.  In fact, occupying the high-powered cocoon known as the corner office is more stressful than ever, thanks to a greater emphasis on globalization, stiffer competition, heightened government regulation and the weak economic recovery, say former CEOs, corporate directors and management experts.”

Focus on Workplace Flexibility

• Joint Chiefs of Staff • November 29, 2010

This page contains a transcript of the panel discussion that opened the recent Focus on Workplace flexibility conference.

Blogs

A Decline in Self-Employment

Catherine Rampell • New York Times - Economix • December 9, 2010

“The share of Americans working for themselves has fallen since the recovery began, according to the Labor Department. [. . .] Since the recession ended, the proportion of self-employed nonagricultural workers peaked at 10.6 percent in the last quarter of 2009. It has edged steadily downward since then, sitting at 10 percent in recent months.  It’s not clear why this might be the case.”

Changing the Equations to Improve the Bottom Line

Ellen Galinsky • Huffington Post • December 8, 2010

“When asked for a closing comment at a Forum on Workplace Flexibility sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation last week, Senior Advisor to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett advised those in the audience to look at the eyes of their employees. You can tell from their eyes, she said, whether their jobs are working for them, whether they are truly engaged.  Those words ring very true for me.”

Telecommuting: It’s about time and place…

Mindy Fried • Mindy's Muses • December 8, 2010

“After considerable debate, the U.S. Congress has finally approved the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010.  The Bill, which has passed both the House and the Senate, is now awaiting President Obama’s signature. Once that happens, federal agencies will be required to develop a policy that allows eligible employees to do at least some portion of their work outside of the office, with the aid of electronic communications. Agencies will also be required to incorporate this alternative arrangement into its operational planning for natural and other disasters.”

5 Reasons Your Retirement Will Include Work

Sydney Lagier • U.S. News and World Report - On Retirement • December 8, 2010

“One in five people over the age of 50 currently holds a retirement job, according to a Families and Work Institute (FWI) and Sloan Center on Aging and Work 2008 study. And some 75 percent of workers 50 and older expect to have retirement jobs in the future. Here’s a look at why retirees are increasingly seeking paid employment.”

Global News

A Goal for Women, Without Resorting to Quotas

Julia Werdigier • New York Times • December 10, 2010

“Ms. Morrissey dismissed the notion that there were not enough suitable female candidates. At Newton, an asset-management firm that is owned by Bank of New York Mellon, 26 percent of the senior work force is female, partly because the firm has tried to draw a broader list of job candidates and women have been attracted to working at a place with a female chief executive. [. . .] However, Ms. Morrissey said that more needed to be done to deepen the pool of candidates. She mentioned the need for senior executives to mentor more female employees and special career advisers who help women before and after maternity leave.”

Work-Life Balance: Best of the series

• Globe and Mail, Canada • December 8, 2010

“Work-life balance is a public-health crisis and a major drain on our economy. Stress is having a direct impact on our health, causing everything from heart disease and memory loss to infertility and obesity. It’s a vital issue for businesses, facing escalating absenteeism and growing challenges with retention and recruitment. It’s affecting our home lives as well, wearing on marriages and affecting the kids. But still, there is resistance to reeling ourselves in.  During a week long series, The Globe and Mail explored what we can do to slow down. And, more importantly, what happens if we don’t.”

‘Second Shift’ Pressure High on Indian Working Women

Suhita Poddar • Wall Street Journal - India Real Time • December 6, 2010

“According to the study, 5.5 million educated women enter the workforce each year. But India needs to do a much better job of addressing competing work and family pressures for these women so that they can remain in the working world, said the study.”