SACRAMENTO -- Employers are showing more flexibility with their workers, a new report reveals, with more firms offering time during the day to attend to family and personal matters and flex time.
The news comes out of the 2012 National Study of Employers by the work force think tank Families and Work Institute, released jointly with the Society for Human Resource Management.
The study's researchers found what they called surprising increases in the numbers of employers who allowed workers to alter when they started and ended their work days, to work from home and to determine their paid and unpaid overtime hours.
Among its findings:
77 percent of employers allow at least some employees to use flex time and periodically change their start and quit times -- up from 66 percent in 2005.
87 percent allow employees to take time during the workday to tend to family or personal affairs without a dock in pay. In 2005, 77 percent of employers allowed it.
63 percent of employers allow employees to occasionally work from home, nearly double that of 2005, when 34 percent of employers allowed staffers to work from home.
Perhaps it's not much of a surprise. Employers making do with ever-smaller staffs are beginning to take the long view, finding more ways to accommodate and retain employees.
"It's clear that, in order to remain competitive, employers must find ways to offer flexible work options if they want to attract and retain top talent," said Henry Jackson, president and chief executive officer of the Society for Human Resource Management.
As a result, employees' schedules are more malleable, researchers said, allowing employees to work longer days or shape their work hours to take care of personal responsibilities and still produce at the office, said Ellen Galinsky, Families and Work Institute president and one of the study's authors.
"Although some may have expected employers to cut back on flexibility entirely during this economic downturn, we are seeing employers leverage flexibility as they look toward the future," Ms. Galinsky said.