What Bosses Really Think About Returning to the Office
It’s a little-known fact but there’s a reason that women in the workforce have not come close to catching a break over the past several decades. One of the primary reasons is that women today take time off to have babies, which is a huge productivity-killer for many companies. When it comes to the best ways to improve productivity and boost employee engagement, women are still at a disadvantage.
But a new study done for the American Association of University Women (AAUW) found that if every woman who took a month off to have a baby in the past two years returned to work, the company could save as much as $2,000 annually in absenteeism alone.
And the results are equally good for men in the workplace. The AAUW study showed that a similar, multi-year return to the office could save businesses over $16,000 over a woman’s career at the same company. The study estimated the average return to the office of 12 weeks after baby is born, and the study participants were mostly parents who worked part-time, in temporary jobs or at home.
The study showed that while one-quarter of women were still off work in the 12-week period after the birth of a baby, only two-thirds of men were there.
The researchers took a more conservative approach in their approach to their conclusions, however. The study says that more flexible work policies and increased flexibility at home or the office could increase employee productivity by up to 50 percent.
So how can we fix this problem and make sure that women in the world of work don’t get left behind?
The first thing we need to do is look at our attitudes about the need for and importance of flexible work policies. And we need to be sure that companies that offer flexible work policies don’t put unnecessary obstacles in the way of women taking time off to have babies.
A study from the American Psychological Association, which surveyed 1,000 women, showed that the biggest barrier to hiring women was a lack of work flexibility, compared to a lack of confidence as women or a lack of experience in the workplace. The study also showed that when women are encouraged to take time off to care for children or take care of family members