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Work/Life 24/7: Critical

Trends Facing Our

Kathleen Beauchesne
Director, FASAP, SAP and WORKlife Programs
Maryland State Highway Administration
November 18, 2005
Theoretical Foundations
 Social exchange theory
 Social justice theory
 Role theory
 Life course/developmental perspectives
 Systems theory
Technology and Globalization
 Key Issues
 Organizations are competing globally due to new
technologies, economic and political pressures, the need for
highly skilled and knowledgeable workers, changes in
management practices and new regulations on trade
 Implications
 Hospitals and universities have tried to keep pace with the
changing marketplace, but it is increasingly difficult
 Economics of healthcare, managed care, and academic medicine
 Competitive distance learning educational programs
 Change business practices
 Role in linking science and industry to innovation
Employment, Wages and
 Key Issues
 Shift from manufacturing to service-based economy
 Fundamental change in the nature of work itself
 Requires the “hearts and minds” of knowledge and service workers
 Low wage workers are vital to business operations and no
longer a disposable labor force
 Part-time workers are expected to grow to 25% of the labor
 Medical care is more complex and specialized and health
care costs are rising faster than the gross national product
and workers’ incomes
 Retirement is no longer the singular event it once was
 Aging boomers will compel changes in retirement planning and pension
Employment, Wages and
 Implications
 Recruitment and retention of highly skilled, educated workers
 Demand for low wage workers will remain significant, but the supply is vast and can be
obtained anywhere in the world
 Demand for personal services caring for aging population
 Labor shortages in key professions demand that we “grow our own labor force”
 3 of the 5 occupations with the largest proportion of part-time jobs include teachers,
registered nurses and scientists (including engineers, mathematicians, computer and natural
 More and more Americans will be uninsured
 Aging workforce will insist on more flexibility, individual choice and blended retirement
and pension plans
Our society is aging
 Life expectancy has increased from 47 years in 1900
to 76 years in 2000
 By 2010
 The oldest baby boomers turn 65
 The number of people between 45 and 64 years old will
increase by 29%--adding 17 million more adults to this age
 Those 65 and older will increase by nearly 14%
 1/3 did not save enough for their retirement and will need
to work
The Workforce
 Key Issues
 The new face of the workforce is increasingly
female, people of color, immigrant and aging
 The color of the workforce will be gray
 The workforce of the future (the next 40 years) has
already been born
 17% shortfall between the boomer generation and the
generation of workers that follow
 This trend is worldwide
Munnell (2004)
Munnell (2004)
The Workforce
 Implications
 Eldercare and caregiving
 Health and disability
 Rising retirement age
 Retaining older workers
 Death and dying
The Workforce
 Implications
 Highest turnover at will be among those who hold executive,
administrative and managerial jobs
 Women and people of color have not made progress in every occupation
and are pooled in non-exempt positions
 63% of our workforce is female; 71.7% of the university workforce is Caucasian
 Knowledge transfer, succession planning, retirement planning and related
human resources policies, managing generational needs and meeting the
needs of care giving employees will be key issues
Work and Family
 Key Issues
 The demands of full-time work and family life intersect at
each stage of working life
 87% of the American workforce goes home to care for a family
member every night
 Child-bearing
 Lower fertility rates
 Marriage and divorce
 Postponement of marriage and high rates of divorce
 More than 1/3 of our children under 18 will experience their
parents’ divorce; one-half will spend time in a single parent family
and one-quarter will live with a step-parent by the time they are 16
Work and Family
 Key Issues
 Changes in family structures have been enormous
 Married, single, gay and lesbian, blended, step-families, single
parents, grand-parents parenting grandchildren, friends, neighbors
 Bean-pole families
 Women’s labor force participation
 76% work; most dramatic increase for those with children under 3
 The pressure of speeded up lives and the need for flexibility
 Average number of work hours has increased by 100 annually for
men since 1969 and three times that for women
 Within the next 10 years, 1 out of 3 families will be caring
for an ill or elderly relative
Work and Family
 Implications
 Good workers willing to work 9 to 5 will be very valuable as more and more workers
choose to work at home or in more flexible arrangements
 Competition for highly skilled, educated workers will increase along with increasing
demands for flexibility
 Women are dropping out of the academic and nursing pipelines seeking corporate
jobs with better pay and more flexible support
 Control over one’s schedule and the flow of work combined with a workplace that is
supportive and values the work—makes a difference
 The demands of care giving are costly—yet caregivers provide $300 billion in free
services, which cannot be readily replaced by government agencies, non-profits or
 The need for eldercare consultation and support may outstrip the demand for child care
Working Conditions
 Key Issues
 Flexible and supportive supervisors are critical to recruitment
and retention
 Greater work/life supports (flexibility, respect, supervisor
support, supportive work culture) are more strongly associated
with positive work outcomes than fringe benefits
 Job satisfaction
 Commitment
 Loyalty

 Willing to work harder than required to help employer succeed

 Retention
 More likely to stay with employer for at least the next year
Working Conditions
 Greater worklife supports on the job are
positively related to more positive life
 Less interference between job and family life
 Less negative spillover from job to home
 Greater life satisfaction
 Better mental health
Working Conditions: Old
Models/New Models
Traditional Supervisor Integrated Supervisor
 Authoritarian  Facilitator and coach

 Very much in charge.  Flexible and supportive

 “Command and control”  Relational practice

type of manager  Employees are human
 Tries hard to keep beings with full lives
everything under control outside of work and
 Expects employees to leave important personal
their home-life issues responsibilities to handle
outside the office door
Working Conditions: Old
Workplace/New Workplace
Old Workplace New Workplace
 Jobs come with two choices
 Focus on work redesign
 Quality part-time jobs connected to
 Full-time (long hours and career tracks
benefits)  Sequence in and out work
 Part-time, limited, casual  Focus on the physical plant
(short hours, low pay, no  Ergonomics
benefits)  Physics
 Acting individually places careers
 Design better buildings
 Diversity in leadership
at risk  Flexible hours
 Patterns of limited coverage  Redesign benefits
 Health care and pension systems  Access to paid-time off
are in trouble  Generous maternity leave policies
 Two choices of work/life benefits
 Health care
 Pensions
 Support the ideal worker  Work/life benefits
 Provide flexibility  Employee voice
 Work/life councils
Working Conditions
 Implications
 Our unique position in healthcare, education and research provides us with the
opportunity to be a national leader
 Our traditional assumptions, values and beliefs about work must be examined
 Breadwinner models of work and family are embedded in the way we work today
 Adding additional hours to a person’s work day may lead to stress and burnout in knowledge
and service workers
 Our organizational strategies deal with those individual problems brought to the
office door
Working Together with Other
 Key Issues
 Work /life issues are social issues that require
employers and other stakeholders working together
 Labor laws and other regulations lack the
flexibility needed today
 Changing role of employers in the provision of
“private welfare benefits”
Working Together With Other
 Implications
 Employers are now “expected” to assume responsibility
for benefits
 Labor unions have negotiated for work/life benefits since
1989 and won
 Government is smaller and is no longer seen as a safety-
net for a healthy and able-bodied workforce
FASAP/WORKlife Advisory Committee
White Paper Project
Economic Pressures
Cultural Issues Time Squeeze
Flexibility Financial Pressures
Accomodating Work

Increasing Diversity

Work Organizations

Current Labor Force
Work and Changing Labor Force
Health Family
Personal Life
Future Laborforce Employee V
Benefits Red
Well-being Skills Prepa
Work Red

Goals Theory Unions

Maximize human capital Role Theory
Minmize human resources costs Social Exchange
Improve organizational performance Social Justice
Key Concerns
 Adapting to new conditions
 Concerns about the preparation of the labor force of the
 22% of employers offer remedial reading, writing and arithmetic
 Much conflict in our society about what to do
 Limited resources
 Move beyond accommodation
 No single solutions

Kathi Beauchesne