The Economics of Workplace Flexibility (2010)
As part of the White House Forum for Workplace Flexibility, the Council of Economic Advisers released a report presenting an economic perspective on flexible workplace policies and practices.
Work-Life Balance and the Economics of Workplace Flexibility (pdf) highlights changes in American society over the past half century, including the increased number of women entering the labor force, the prevalence of families where all adults work, increasing eldercare responsibilities, and the rising importance of continuing education. These changes are among those that have increased the need for flexibility in the workplace.
Many firms have found that flexible arrangements can represent smart management practice for which the benefits outweigh the costs. However, almost one-third of firms cite costs or limited funds as obstacles to implementing workplace flexibility arrangements. At the same time, other firms report benefits in the form of lower absenteeism and turnover, improved health of their workers, and increased productivity.
While the growing body of evidence has established a strong connection between flexibility and productivity, research that explores the mechanisms through which flexibility influences workers’ job satisfaction and a firm’s profits would better inform policy makers and managers alike. In the meantime, the best available evidence suggests that encouraging more firms to consider adopting flexible practices can potentially boost productivity, improve morale, and benefit the U.S. economy.
What We Do
NCRW is a network of leading university and community based research, policy, and advocacy centers with a growing global reach dedicated to advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls. We also have a Corporate Circle comprised of senior diversity professionals from leading U.S. and global member companies and a Presidents Circle of college and university leaders who share our commitment. NCRW harnesses the collective power of its network to provide knowledge, analysis, and thought leadership on issues ranging from reducing women’s poverty to building a critical mass of women’s leadership across sectors.