They talk to Sylvia Hewlett, who runs the Center for Work/Life Policy, who sees this moment as “a kind of opportunity and also a big danger,” for the parent-friendly approach that is her own life’s work. The opportunity, she says, is that employers will see flexibility as a way to improve morale and loyalty among employees who remain. A relatively low cost way to make workers happy, if you will.
“In a world where you can not motivate folks with bonuses and enhanced compensation packages, you can offer flexibility and the power of recognition,” she says. “Talent management was never as difficult as it is now. Even in this economy you have to work to keep good people.
“The danger,” she says, “is that leadership is so engaged in putting out fires that it is tempting to see all of those things as just frills and not needed in a crisis.”
Arrangements such as part time working an annualised hours can offer businesses the chance to have staff in when they need, and keep costs down at quiet times of year. Lets hope that big companies see the benefits of flexible working, not just the costs.