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?

January 18, 2011


When time is money

Katie Johnston-Chase • Boston Globe • January 18, 2011

“Flexible work arrangements have been part of office culture for years, but companies such as Deloitte are increasingly seeing them as an affordable way to attract and hang on to valuable employees, both during the depths of a downturn and as jobs begin to open up. During the recession, more firms added, rather than cut back, flexible work options — allowing employees to perform duties from home, work weekends and evenings, or reduce their hours — according to a survey of 1,100 employers nationwide done by the Families and Work Institute, a nonprofit research group in New York.”

Home Office vs. At the Office: Which Is More Efficient?

Bruce Kennedy • DailyFinance • January 17, 2011

“Call it telecommuting, telework or working from home: It appears more of us are earning at least part of our salaries from home, and with the boss’s blessings.  According to a survey by the human resources group WorldatWork, the number of Americans who work either from their homes or remotely at least one day a month rose by 74% between 2005 and 2008, to more than 17 million.”

Older Workers Are Keeping a Tighter Grip on Jobs

Floyd Norris • New York Times • January 14, 2011

“THE American work force is getting older. More people over 55 are working while fewer people under that age are employed. The Labor Department’s household survey in December found that 28.2 million people over 55 years of age had jobs, an increase of 7.6 percent from three years earlier, when the recession was beginning.  By contrast, there were fewer jobs held by people in all age groups under 55, as can be seen in the accompanying charts. Over all, the number of people working was down by 4.9 percent.”

Family Leave Guide Offers Ways to Create Programs Across U.S.

Andrew Cohen • Berkeley Law - News Archive • January 14, 2011

“A new guide about the nation’s first paid family leave program, implemented six years ago in California, provides recommendations for other states to consider as they pursue similar proposals.  Produced by the law school’s Berkeley Center for Health, Economic & Family Security (Berkeley CHEFS) and the Labor Project for Working Families, the guide presents California as a model for how Americans can juggle work and family responsibilities.”


E.U. Considers Lengthening Maternity Leave – What About U.S.?

Tina Vasquez • Glass Hammer • January 18, 2011

“As glum as things seem, there are bright spots in the U.S. Particularly, for women living in the states of California, New Jersey, and Washington, as these states offer paid leave programs. These benefit plans deduct a small amount from the paycheck of working residents in the state and when women take time off to care for their newborn, a percentage of their wages are paid out as disability benefits.”

For Work-Life Balance, Be an Accountant

Rachel Emma Silverman • Wall Street Journal - The Juggle • January 17, 2011

“The firms say that such policies, including generous paid maternity and paternity leaves, enhance their bottom lines by reducing employee turnover and attracting stellar staffers who value flexibility. Most large firms say that their work-life policies provide alternate routes for employees to rise or even make partner.”

Older unemployed workers half as likely to get hired

David DeLong • Reuters - Prism Money • January 14, 2011

“Overall, workers age 50 to 61 were 34 percent less likely to lose their jobs during the downturn than younger workers, the Urban Institute researchers found.  But workers in that age group who have lost their jobs in the recession are one-third less likely to find new work than their counterparts age 25 to 34.”

Workplace Flexibility: Less Than Meets the Eye?

Steven Greenhouse • New York Times - Economix • January 14, 2011

“In late November, I attended an excellent conference on workplace flexibility that was sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which began championing that issue after its former president, Ralph E. Gomory, concluded that something just wasn’t adding up. Mr. Gomory, once the chief of research at I.B.M., began embracing the cause decades ago when he saw a huge change in the American work force — millions more women were entering the workplace.”

Global News

Older women go back to work

Kirsty Needham • Sydney Morning Herald, Australia • January 18, 2011

“Women aged over 45 have increased their workforce participation from 47 per cent to 78 per cent in three decades, much faster than younger women, and doubled their share of hours worked.  The trend of women retiring at an earlier age than men has also dramatically narrowed, with the gap now

“The new scheme, first proposed by the last government, will let a father take up any remaining unpaid leave if their partner goes back to work early.  The deputy prime minister said current paternity rules were ‘Edwardian’.  He also said the government would soon be “saying more” about plans to extend the right to ask for flexible hours to grandparents and close family friends.”