Work/life balance has been an issue for American families for decades. Today, most workers negotiate these conflicting demands, but not without difficulty. Today’s workforce is different from that of the 1970’s. In 1970, 2/3 of married couples had one spouse at home to take care of household needs. Today, women make up nearly half of the American workforce, and 18% of working parents are single parents. Time is a more critical issue than ever before.
For hourly industrial workers, meeting the demands of both work and home can be a bigger challenge than for the workforce at-large. They are the least likely to have the flexibility to get children to school/childcare, take the car to the shop or even go to the doctor. They need some solutions in order to effectively meet their responsibilities at both work and home. They need flexibility.
There has been a lot of discussion lately about “flexible work solutions” with the most commonly-known ones being flextime, job sharing, and telecommuting. However, hourly industrial workers are less likely than other workers to have access to most (if any) of these solutions. This goes against the nature of their jobs. They must be at a certain worksite for a defined number of hours in order to ensure that the lines keep running and schedules are maintained.
Flexibility should not be so narrowly defined. Hourly industrial workers face distinct and unique scheduling challenges. These include:
These scheduling challenges tend to compound other problems elsewhere in the workers’ lives, including:
Some of the flexible workplace solutions that would help alleviate these scheduling issues include:
For employers, having a stable and effective hourly workforce requires providing employees with the flexibility that they need to get the job done. Flexibility – in all its incarnations – can improve performance. It reduces turnover and absenteeism and improves employee engagement and productivity. Workplace flexibility also improves employee retention. Employees with flexibility were 30% more likely than employees without flexibility to intend to stay with their employers for more than 2 years. Their job commitment was 63% higher than those employees who felt that their managers did not offer sufficient flexibility.
This is where the utilization of a contingent workforce is critical. Providing stability, flexibility and manageability to your workforce is crucial for the business. However, things do happen. People get sick. Family emergencies occur. Vehicles break down. This is why having a strong and stable partnership with a firm that can provide quality temporary workers, such as Snelling, is crucial. It allows you to provide for your workforce, while at the same time, ensure that your business continues to prosper
*Source: Flexible Workplace Solutions for Low-Wage Hourly Workers: A Framework for a National Conversation, 2010
By Christiane Soto, Snelling.com
Hourly, industrial workers are less likely than any other group of workers to have access to the most common flexible workplace solutions. These workers face distinct scheduling challenges that can alleviated with some unique flexible solutions. Click here to download a PDF version of this article today!
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