Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

Workplace flexibility: President Obama and the First Lady put families first

The Forum on Workplace Flexibility, held by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, highlighted the importance of workplace practices that allow working people to meet the demands of their jobs — without sacrificing their family responsibilities.

“Flexible policies actually make employees more – not less – productive,” said Mrs. Obama. “Instead of spending time worrying about what’s happening at home, employees have the support and the peace of mind they need to concentrate at work which is good for their families – and the bottom line.”

The Forum was accompanied by the release of a new report from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, titled Work-Life Balance and the Economics of Workplace Flexibility. The report notes that workplace dynamics have changed with society, and workplace policies like paid leave are especially important for workers who lack financial resources. It also examined the effect of workplace flexibility on businesses, finding the benefits of adopting family-friendly practices can outweigh the costs by reducing absenteeism, lowering turnover, improving the health of workers, and increasing productivity.

Read some of the real-world stories of people that could have been helped by workplace flexibility laws and a minimum standards of paid sick days.

Maria Megan Sharon
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