Families and Work Institute media highlights for the week of July 27-31, 2009.
Work-Life Navigation & the Recession:
- This Business Week article cites Families and Work Institute’s recent report The Impact of the Recession on Employers to show how many companies are helping their employees manage their finances. More and more companies, including small businesses, are realizing that “workers’ money problems manifest on the job in poor performance and turnover.” One company, Humanix, even went so far as to provide direct loans to employees during personal financial emergencies.
- Judy Martin also discusses FWI’s recent report and Ellen Galinsky’s influence at last week’s hearing before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, as well as mentioning FWI and other organizations that have brought the national conversation to a new level. However, Martin argues that employers and employees need a moderator of sorts during these difficult economic times, but the legislative movement is lagging. Maybe the recession will bring the attention back to the Working Families Flexibility Act so that direct action may be taken.
- According to FWI’s latest report, 77% of small businesses are having to control or cut costs during the recession, and small businesses are finding it beneficial to turn fixed costs into variable costs. To do so, many small businesses are cutting down on overhead costs such as office space by having somewhat of a virtual office, allowing employees to work remotely or outsourcing the work to online freelancers.
- Controversy surrounds the recently increased federal minimum wage from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour. Will this be good or bad for the economy? Many minimum-wage workers and advocates of the increase agree that any increase in the paycheck is a big help, but opponents say each minimum wage increase causes more entry-level workers to lose jobs because employers cut staff to accommodate raises for employees who remain.
- Experts at Good Housekeeping offer 7 pieces of advice for working parents who are surprised with children at home on snow days. The first of the seven tips mentioned is “Forge a household plan,” where parents might “set up a trade-off where you agree that if one of you must be at work on a snow day, the other will cover for you and then get to take care of business the next time around,” suggests Ellen Galinsky, President of the Families and Work Institute.