Majority of Canadian Organizations offer flex-work options

by Ron P on July 7, 2010

in Work From Home, Work From Home Articles

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With nearly half of employees having to work extra hours these days, a majority of Canadian organizations are offering programs to help balance work with personal demands on their time, a new survey finds.

As few as a third of employees regularly put in a standard weekly shift of between 35 and 40 hours, the 164 organizations who responded to a Hewitt Associates survey reported.

Overall, 45 per cent of employees typically work one to five extra hours a week, 23 per cent work five to 10 hours more, and 1 per cent work 10 to 15 additional hours.

To help counter the workload, 86 per cent of the companies offer flexible work hours for all or some of their employees, although 68 per cent require employees to be on the job for certain core hours during the work day.

Other flex-work options included: telecommuting, with 77 per cent of employers permitting some employees to work off site; extra paid time off for personal reasons in addition to vacation allotments, offered by 74 per cent of employers; and job sharing, offered by 54 per cent of companies.

In addition, 65 per cent allow employees to take time off for education leave, with 22 per cent having specific allotments of up to five days off a year and 56 per cent having no set limit but making decisions on a case-by-case basis.

Among other approaches companies offer to help employees better balance their work demands are compressed work weeks, for 44 per cent.

In addition, 36 per cent of companies offer sabbatical leave, with 54 per cent offering blocks of from six to 24 months away from work. But only 4 per cent of employers pay employees during a sabbatical.

Finally, 32 per cent of employers support volunteerism by providing employees extra paid time off for charitable activities. For 56 per cent, the amount of time is set at from one to five days a year.

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