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Family-friendly firms have more productive workers, Watertown study says

Posted by Sarah Thomas  July 1, 2010 08:44 AM

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People who work for companies that provide services such on-site child care and time off for caring for sick children are more likely to be productive employees, a family consulting group based in Watertown said this week.

They also have less stress and a remarkably higher quality of life, according to a study released by Bright Horizons, which interviewed more than 4,000 working parents.

The study, conducted with Northeastern University, said that people who work for companies that provide these benefits reported fewer headaches and stress-related illnesses, and were 31 percent less likely to report lost productivity due to stress.

Conversely, respondents without work and life supports offered by their employer were nearly a third more likely to report feeling down, depressed or hopeless in the last month.

They were 62 percent more likely to experience sleep issues that have an impact on their jobs, three times as likely to be treated for high blood pressure and diabetes, and spent 20 percent more time dealing with dependent care issues at work than those who did have access to work/life supports.

"The results of the study confirmed what leading employers know about the positive impact of dependent care supports on employee engagement and productivity – that engagement leads to highly motivated workers and strong business growth," said Bright Horizons CEO, Dave Lissy. "Clearly, employers who offer these supports have healthier employees and in turn a healthier business."

According to the National Business Group on Health, behavioral problems such as stress and depression account for 200 million sick days a year in the US, the loss of about $105 billion in revenue.

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