U.S. News & World Report


by Emma Plumb / March 1

From the seemingly unending snow in Boston to the record-breaking low temperatures in the Midwest and entire Eastern seaboard, this winter has wreaked havoc on workers’ schedules – and business’ bottom lines. The Boston Globe recently reported that “a one-day storm in Massachusetts costs the state economy about $265 million, three-quarters of which can be traced to lost wages. In New York State, the total cost is $700 million.”

But flexible workplaces can make all the difference for employees and businesses during extreme weather.

Although the 2014 National Study of Employers reports that as many as 67 percent of employers allow “some” employees to “occasionally work some of their regular paid hours at home,” there’s often a large discrepancy between policy and practice. When it comes to expanding this option to “all or most” of their employees, only 8 percent of employers support occasional telecommuting, and just 3 percent allow full-time telecommuting. Among the total US workforce, just 4.4 percent of workers 16 and older work from home, according to the 2012 American Community Survey.

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