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July 23, 2009
Employers Maintain Workplace Flexibility During Recession

A vast majority of employers are either maintaining the workplace flexibility options they offer (81%) or increasing them (13%), according to a report by the Families and Work Institute. Only 6 percent said they have reduced such options.

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Twenty-six percent of employers said they have specifically used flexible workplace options—such as a reduced workweeks or telecommuting--in an attempt to avoid layoffs in the last year.

The institute surveyed employers to see how they have responded to the recession thus far.

"It is hardly surprising that our survey finds that 77% of employers are cutting and controlling labor and operational costs during the recession," said Ellen Galinsky, co-founder and president of FWI. "What is surprising is that that between 34% to 43% of employers are actively helping employees weather the recession, that employers are largely retaining or increasing workplace flexibility as way to manage through a difficult economic environment, and that 57% of employers are giving employees some or a lot of input about the flexibility they use."

The survey was based on a weighted random sample of employers with 50 or more employees. It was conducted by Harris Interactive and based on 20-minute telephone interviews with directors of human resources or persons with primary responsibility for human resources.

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