What's the Latest Development?

New research assessing both the benefits and costs of family-friendly work practices, such as offering job-sharing and part-time work, flexibility for childcare emergencies, etc. An extensive study examined the effect of family-friendly policies on hard variables such as firm sales per employee and return on capital, and used a large database of firms from the US, the UK, Germany, and France.

What's the Big Idea?

What they found initially was a positive relation between how many family-friendly practices a firm employed and its financial performance. On further analysis they then found that firms applying family-friendly practices had already been good to start with. In other words, well-performing firms implemented family-friendly practices, but this did not increase their financial performance. However, what the research does show is that family-friendly practices come “for free”; they are expensive, but the benefits cover those costs.