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Flex-Options for Women: 

Flex-Options for Women Creating 21st Century Workplace Flexibility A Project of: The Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor Meeting: Presenter: Date:

Introducing Flex-Options for Women: 

Introducing Flex-Options for Women The Flex-Options for Women (Flex-Options) initiative encourages employers to develop workplace flexibility practices. Through a partnership with contractors and experienced mentors, mentoring will be used to provide tools to meet the unique needs of each participating business. Flex-Options will provide information and experiences that foster further development of the principles of workplace flexibility.

What Is Flex-Options for Women?: 

What Is Flex-Options for Women? This initiative focuses on: Building national awareness of the benefits of flexible workplace solutions Encouraging employers to consider work redesign and develop or expand flexible work arrangements Anticipated results: Positive bottom line impact for business owners Enhanced ability to manage work and life responsibilities for employees

Why Flex-Options for Women?: 

Why Flex-Options for Women? Flex-Options for Women-- Promotes an environment that is responsive to the demands and challenges of the 21st century workforce Ensures opportunities for employees to achieve their potential in the workplace

Flex-Options: Meeting the Need: 

Flex-Options: Meeting the Need Employers recognize their employees’ needs for flexible work schedules Create a workplace culture from the ground-up

Active in 10 Regions: 

Active in 10 Regions Flex-Options is carried out in all 10 regions (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Denver, San Francisco, and Seattle) to encourage 137 employers to implement or enhance workplace flexibility practices Each region will recruit a minimum of 14 business owner participants and 10 business mentors

Flex-Options Process: 

Flex-Options Process Bringing together employers with business mentors who have successfully implemented workplace flexibility Facilitating sharing of information and best practices Providing tools including Web site resources, virtual presentations, and local and national events

Business Mentor Qualifications : 

Business Mentor Qualifications Business leader (e.g., operations manager, human resources professional, customer service supervisor, executive, etc.) at any size company, in any industry Embraces overall concept of mentoring Experienced with successfully implementing at least one type of flexible work arrangement (flextime, compressed workweeks, part-time work, job sharing, telecommuting, etc.)

Business Mentor Guidelines : 

Business Mentor Guidelines Roles, responsibilities, expectations: Complete mentor application Encourage and provide guidance (by phone, e-mentoring, in person) to employers interested in developing or enhancing workplace flexibility Attend at least one virtual presentation and one local networking or informational event Visit the Women Entrepreneurs, Inc. Web site (www.we-inc.org) for program updates Give permission for your name and company’s name to be used at Flex-Options events, on Web site, and in publicity materials Provide feedback to Women’s Bureau to help evaluate program

WBO Participant Qualifications: 

WBO Participant Qualifications Being a Business owner Embraces overall concept of mentoring-- Mentoring ranked as the #1 most beneficial assistance received when starting a business (Women Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century Conference, September 2003, Jacksonville, Florida) Interested in developing at least one type of flexible work arrangement (e.g., flextime, compressed workweek, part-time work, job share, telecommuting, customized employment) or enhancing current workplace flexibility

Participant Guidelines: 

Participant Guidelines Roles, responsibilities, expectations: Complete participant application May seek guidance from mentors (by phone, e-mentoring, in person) to develop or enhance at least one type of flexible work arrangement Attend at least one virtual presentations and one local networking or informational event Visit the Women Entrepreneurs, Inc. Web site (www.we-inc.org) for project updates Give permission for your name and your company’s name to be used at Flex-Options events, on Web site, and in publicity materials Provide feedback Women’s Bureau to help evaluate program

Shifting Family Demographics: 

Shifting Family Demographics Only 19 percent of married couple families (with and without children) fit the “traditional” model with a stay-at-home wife and breadwinner husband. Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, March 2005

Shifting Family Demographics: 

Shifting Family Demographics More dual-income married-couple families Between 1990 and 2005, the number of dual-income families increased by 38%, from 24 to 33 million More single-parent families Between 1990 and 2005, the number of single-parent families increased by 28%, from 15 to 19 million In 2005, 27% of all children lived in single-parent families Sources: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Populations Survey, March 1990, 2005

Shifting Labor Force Demographics: 

Shifting Labor Force Demographics More women in the labor force 59% of women age 16 and over were in the labor force in 2005 (up from 46% in 1975) 63% of women age 16 and over with children under age 6 were in the labor force in 2005 (up from 39% in 1975) Sources: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employment and Earnings, January 2007; Current Population Survey, March 1975 and 2005

Why Invest in Work-Life Programs?: 

Why Invest in Work-Life Programs? Retention Recruitment Productivity Performance Morale Commitment Job Satisfaction Attendance Companies invest in work-life initiatives, including flexibility, to improve:

Flextime Defined: 

Flextime Defined Workday start and end times are earlier or later than the workgroup’s standard, yet the same number of hours per day is maintained Common approaches: Staggered hours Core hours Meal time flex Summer flex Day-of-the-week flex

Flextime Advantages : 

Flextime Advantages Extends business hours Allows for variable coverage during peak hours or days Enables employees to commute outside of rush hour Improves efficiency if schedules match employees’ most productive hours

Compressed Workweeks Defined: 

Compressed Workweeks Defined Full-time options that compress the standard workweek into fewer days Common approaches: 4-day workweek 3-day workweek 4½-day workweek 9-day biweekly

Compressed Workweeks Advantages: 

Compressed Workweeks Advantages Extends business hours Improves productivity if some work can best be accomplished during quieter times of the day Allows employees more days off Decreases number of days employees commute Enables employees to commute outside of rush hour

Part-Time Work Defined: 

Part-Time Work Defined Working less than 35 hours per week Common approaches: 80% of a full-time schedule (32 hours per week) 60% (24 hours per week) 50% (20 hours per week)

Part-Time Work Advantages: 

Part-Time Work Advantages Retains employees who need time off to deal with family or other personal needs Enhances skill development by providing time for continuing education Allows gradual return to work after maternity or other leaves Enables gradual transition to retirement Expands labor pool (e.g., retirees, students, persons with disabilities)

Job Sharing Defined: 

Job Sharing Defined Full-time position shared by two people, each working part-time hours (50% of a full-time schedule) with prorated or full benefits Common approaches: Alternate weeks with each working one week on, one week off Share workdays with each working 4 hours Each works 2½ days a week with a Wednesday overlap

Job Sharing Advantages: 

Job Sharing Advantages Brings broader range of knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience to a position Enhances quality of work Provides cross-training and skill enhancement if partners have significantly different experiences Allows continuity of coverage even when one partner is sick, on leave, or on vacation

Telecommuting Defined: 

Telecommuting Defined Working from a remote location one or more days a week Common approaches: Home office: designated office space at employee’s home Satellite or neighborhood office: remote office established by one or more employers typically in a community with a large concentration of employees Hoteling: designated workspaces at a company location are reserved by employees who work remotely, but occasionally “come into the office”

Telecommuting Advantages: 

Telecommuting Advantages Offers alternative to relocation Expands recruitment pool Reduces office space and associated costs Provides fewer workplace distractions Allows work during “personal best time” Accommodates employees with disabilities Reduces pollution Decreases wear/tear on transportation infrastructure Reduces or eliminates commute time Decreases employee work-related spending

Other Forms of Flexibility: 

Other Forms of Flexibility Personal flexibility Personal days: Provide a fixed number of days per year that employees can take off with pay for personal reasons Paid time off banks: Combine all paid time off in a “bank” for employees to use for sick leave, vacations, emergencies, or other personal reasons Leaves of absence: Provide extended paid or unpaid time off for maternity, paternity, adoption, education, volunteer work, etc.

Other Forms of Flexibility: 

Other Forms of Flexibility Vacation flexibility Vacation buying: Elect to purchase additional vacation days during annual benefits enrollment Vacation borrowing: Borrow vacation from the following year Vacation sharing: Donate vacation days to a bank for employees who need additional paid time off due to illness or other work-life situations Day-at-a-time vacation: Take vacation in one-day increments

Other Forms of Flexibility: 

Other Forms of Flexibility Holiday flexibility Floating holidays: Allow employees to voluntarily work a company-identified holiday at straight pay in exchange for another day off Emergency flexibility Provide a fixed number of days per year that employees can take off with pay for emergencies (allow time to be taken in hourly increments)

Other Forms of Flexibility : 

Other Forms of Flexibility Shift flexibility Trade shift with another employee Drop a shift to another employee Pick up a shift from another employee Meeting-free flexibility No meetings days: Select one day of the week when no meetings are scheduled Power hours: Designate one hour each day when no meetings are scheduled and employees do not communicate with each other (allows everyone some quiet time to work uninterrupted)

Interested? : 

Interested? Note: Add regional Women’s Bureau staff or contractor contact information here.

Questions?: 

Questions?

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