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Technology & Innovation

Family-Friendly, For Free

New research suggests family-friendly workplace policies may not increase profits, but they at least cover their cost. Better staff retention and work attitudes are among the payoffs.

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.


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