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Hot Workplace Ideas
NEWS FLASH: IBM to spend US$50 million on work/family initiatives

(Jul. 12, 2000) -- IBM Corp. announced a $50 million global fund to develop and support work/life programs in communities where its employees live and work. It is one of the first funds of its type to address such employee issues globally. While the fund will address a variety of work/life issues, the primary focus will be
dependent care programs that help employees and their communities respond to the child and elder care responsibilities of working families.

In Canada, IBM will build a childcare centre in the Toronto area. The proposed location is at the future site of IBM's Software Development Lab in Markham, Ontario. The 20,000-square-foot centre is expected to open in June 2001 and will provide care for more than 170 children, from infant to senior kindergarten age, as well as after school and vacation programs for another 24 school-age children.

"This initiative further enhances our work/life balance programs and -- in an industry where skills and talent are at a premium -- will have a positive impact on our ability to attract and retain employees."

Additional IBM Canada programs supporting work/life balance include telecommuting options, summer flexible hours, and other flexible work arrangements such as job-sharing, personal leaves and regular part time employment.

Maclean's survey of 2000 working Canadians finds work & family balance key to recruiting & retention. Other highlights:

Asked how various flexible benefits ranked, the most desired benefits were:
1. Elder care
2. Working from home
3. Job-sharing
4. Flextime
5. Paid time off
6. Child care

Asked their #1 reason to join or stay with an organization, employees cited:
1. Opportunities for growth & advancement: 27% (to join) / 23% (to stay)
2. Job security: 26% / 27%
3. Pay: 17% / 20%
4. Ability to balance work and personal life: 14% / 15%

Full article currently available at Maclean's Online -- Cover Index

Mothers may win right to return to part-time jobs in UK
The British government is under pressure to include a statutory right to insist on part-time work when returning from maternity leave. The debate has arisen as part of a review of parental leave and maternity rights currently underway. (23/03/2000)

Buying peace and quiet: Prudential is testing out a system that helps employees mesh their work and non-work goals. Each employee will be able to negotiate an agreement that would let them "buy" options such as extra career development courses or greater work & personal life balance.

Good food: A major law firm provides a hot buffet supper to employees who have to work late.