Workplace flexibility allows employees to reach their work and life responsibilities as well as help employers compete in today’s global marketplace, said Henry G. Jackson, the president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, in a statement to Congress.
“The truth is that workplace flexibility is good for people,” Jackson said. “The business truth is that it’s good for the bottom line.”
Flexible strategies, which include telecommuting, flextime, part-time work, job sharing and compressed schedules, increase productivity, employee engagement and morale, and they also reduce turnover, absenteeism and lower overhead costs, Jackson said.
As part of an effort to educate HR professionals on establishing flexibility strategies, SHRM and its partner, the Families and Work Institute, are sharing research as well as addressing the best practices through the “When Work Works” program and the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility.
In SHRM’s opinion, current labor law slow innovation, and considering today’s evolving work force, U.S. employers should offer workplace flexibility policies that can help both employees and employers.
“Labor laws have not kept pace with the evolving needs of today’s diverse, adaptable and mobile work force,” Jackson said. “The HR profession advocates a flexibility policy that for the first time responds to the diverse needs of employees and employers, a policy that reflects different work environments, types of industries and organizational sizes.”
SHRM has outlined a set of principles to encourage the development of a workplace flexibility public policy. The principles suggest that employer voluntarily offer paid leave and other flexible work options.
The Congressional briefing, which was backed by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, also featured John C. Parry Jr., CEO of Solix Inc. and a winner of Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility.