Family Friendly Workplace Policies: Everybody Wins

family friendly workplace policiesMore and more employers are implementing family friendly policies in the workplace to attract and retain top talent.   With options that accommodate families and parents becoming the norm among employers, it is now a big deciding factor for job seekers.  Having family friendly workplace policies also helps improve your business’s reputation and employee morale.  Some of these policies tend to be inexpensive, and help bring down your health care costs in the long run.  An infographic from summarizes a study from OfficeTeam, which found that almost half of human resources managers have implemented family friendly workplace policies in the past 5 years .  The purpose of these policies is to make it easier and less stressful for working parents to care for their families and be productive workers at the same time.  Below are four family friendly policies your company might consider implementing in the workplace:

1)  Flexible Schedules

There are many options available today that can allow working parents to attend to their children’s needs when they come up, whether that be doctor’s appointments, sports events, school functions or staying home with them when they are sick.  Some family friendly workplace policies that give your employees more flexibility in their schedules include working remotely, paid or emergency time off, and reducing working hours.  Another option that some companies take advantage of is shortening the workweek to 4 days instead of 5 and making the 4 working days a little longer.  This allows parents to still work the same number of hours while having one weekday off to attend to family responsibilities.

2)  Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave

One of the family friendly policies that is becoming more commonly implemented by employers in the workplace is generous maternity as well as paternity leave.  CNN Money reported last year that 17 big-name employers, including Netflix and Goldman Sachs either implemented or expanded paid maternity and paternity leave accommodations.  The amount of time these employers are giving new moms and dads ranges from 6 weeks to almost a year.  The movement towards more family friendly paternity leave policies not only gives fathers more time to bond with their children, it also helps promote gender equality in the workplace and increases female participation the work force.

3)   Lactation-Friendly Policies

Encouraging and supporting breast feeding as one of your family friendly policies in the workplace has several benefits.  First, it allows more women to participate in the labor force.  Second, since breastfeeding has health benefits for both the mother and the infant, you are likely to lower your healthcare costs.  For every $1 spent to support breastfeeding in the workplace, companies save $3, according to  Employers are required by law to support breastfeeding in the workplace, so make sure you have a good understanding of the lactation laws in your state and how to implement policies that follow them.

4)  On-site Daycare

Another family friendly workplace policy that is a big deciding factor for many employees is whether the employer offers on-site daycare.  Having childcare available in the workplace has been known to improve productivity and lower employee absenteeism.  Since employees feel secure that their children are being cared for, they are free to focus all their energy on their job.  If your business provides on-site childcare, you can financially benefit by claiming a tax credit, covering up to 25% of the facility’s costs.

While implementing family friendly policies in the workplace is a huge step in the right direction, it is also important to encourage employees to take advantage of the policies.  You can do this by education employees about what these policies offer, and taking advantage of them yourself.

Author: Jessica Cody

Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.

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