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?

March 15, 2011


Alzheimer’s in U.S. claims $202 billion in unpaid care

Julie Steenhuysen • Reuters • March 15, 2011

“Nearly 15 million people in the United States take care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, amounting to 17 billion hours or more than $202 billion in unpaid care, Alzheimer’s experts said on Tuesday. If these caregivers all lived in one U.S. state, it would be the nation’s fifth largest, according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2011 annual report on the disease.”

Survey: More workers have a gloomy retirement outlook

Christine Dugas • USA Today • March 15, 2011

“The percentage of workers who are not at all confident about saving enough money for a comfortable retirement reached 27% in 2011, compared with 22% last year. When combined with those who said they are not too confident, the total reaches 50% of workers. […]Among the 1,004 workers surveyed by EBRI, 74% say they plan to work in retirement to supplement their savings, but just 23% of the 254 retirees surveyed say they have worked in retirement.”

Working the Graveyard

Dennis Nishi • Wall Street Journal • March 13, 2011

“Working the night shift is a trend that has most likely increased during the recession, says Mark Jelfs, spokesman for Milwaukee staffing firm Manpower […]  That’s due, in part, to globalization and the need to work in different time zones and because many companies have opted to add more shifts over hiring more staff or buying new equipment. This has created some opportunities for workers who are willing to invert their waking lives to fit company needs.”

Paid Sick Days Good for Business, Employees

Louis Lista • Hartford Courant • March 13, 2011

“Earlier this year, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy addressed the Connecticut Business and Industry Association and voiced his support for legislation requiring large businesses in Connecticut to provide employees with a few paid sick days a year. The CBIA, the state’s main business lobby, was up in arms. To hear them tell it, granting a few paid sick days a year is just too expensive for Connecticut’s employers.  As a successful business owner and CBIA member, that’s not how I see it. In my experience, providing a few paid sick days is smart business — not to mention vital to the health and economic well-being of my employees.”

Google’s Quest to Build a Better Boss

Adam Bryant • New York Times • March 12, 2011

“They wanted to build better bosses.  So, as only a data-mining giant like Google can do, it began analyzing performance reviews, feedback surveys and nominations for top-manager awards. They correlated phrases, words, praise and complaints. […]Mr. Bock’s group found that technical expertise — the ability, say, to write computer code in your sleep — ranked dead last among Google’s big eight. What employees valued most were even-keeled bosses who made time for one-on-one meetings, who helped people puzzle through problems by asking questions, not dictating answers, and who took an interest in employees’ lives and careers.”


People@Work: Economic Recovery Aside, Workers Are More Stressed Out Than Ever

David Schepp • Daily Finance • March 14, 2011

“After years of recession and a less than stellar economic recovery, growing numbers of worker are feeling the emotional toll. Many of them feel undervalued and stressed out, and they’re dissatisfied with their jobs, a new survey finds.  More than a third of workers regularly experience on-the-job stress, and about half say inadequate pay significantly contributes to those feelings, according to the poll, commissioned by the American Psychological Association.”

The Nation’s Troubled Labor Markets and the Fate of Its Dislocated Workers

Andrew Sum • Huffington Post • March 14, 2011

“Between 2007 and 2009, there were 15.43 million U.S. workers who were displaced permanently from their jobs. This was by far the highest number of workers displaced over a three year period in the past 30 years for which we have such data. Nearly 11% of U.S. workers 20 and older were displaced from their jobs, the highest dislocation rate in our post-WWII history. […] Nearly 1 of every 5 White and Black males under age 35 with no college schooling were displaced, contributing to a depression among our nation’s youngest male workers.”

“President Obama, who has two young daughters, pressed Saturday for passage of a bill meant to make it easier for women to have their day in court when they feel employers are underpaying them simply because of their gender. […]The legislation would treat gender discrimination involving wages in the same manner as discrimination related to race, age or disability—effectively opening up another avenue for court challenges. Many business interests oppose it because they fear a flood of litigation.”

Flex and the C-Suite: John Parry, CEO of Solix, “Removes the Noise From the System”

Cali Williams Yost • Fast Company - Expert Blog • March 9, 2011

“This is the first post in a new series that I’m calling “Flex and the C-Suite.” Periodically, I will interview C-Suite leaders who have made flexibility in the way work is done a key strategy for achieving business results smarter and better. […] Parry had just presented at the Workplace Flexibility 2010 celebration that I’d attended. I was struck by the clarity with which he described the key role flexibility plays in achieving the core objective of his business which is excellent client service.”

Global News

Cuts force half of mothers to reduce work

Martin Beckford • Telegraph • March 15, 2011

“The average family will lose more than £400 in childcare benefits as a result of a stricter regime coming into force next month, the study by Netmums claims. It means many low-paid women will have to stay at home with their children as they will no longer be able to afford nursery or childminders.  And this means HM Treasury will lose out on the income tax they would have paid, calling into question the hundreds of millions of pounds in savings that the move was assumed to make.”

The Happynomics of Life

Roger Cohen • New York Times • March 12, 2011

“Stress has become the byword for a spreading anxiety. This anxiety’s personal, about jobs and money and health, but also general: that we can’t go on like this, running only to stand still, making things faster and faster, consuming more and more food (with consequent pressures on prices); that somehow a world of more than seven billion people is going to have to ‘downshift’ to make it, revise its criteria of what constitutes well-being.”