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Family Friendly Workplace Policies

By: Amanda O'Neal
By: Amanda O'Neal

Employees are often faced with balancing the demands of work and family responsibilities. Some companies and cities are trying to help out by creating family friendly workplaces, and they'll learn how at a conference being offered by the city of Bryan on Wednesday.

When Rebecca Boenigk's family started Neutral Posture 17 years ago the goal was not only to make and sell chairs, but also to create a family friendly workplace and keep employees happy.

That's still the case today, and Boenigk says her business is better because of it.

"We have a very low turnover rate. Our average employee has been here for eight and a half years," said Boenigk.

Boenigk says the company offers its 91 employees an excellent health plan and benefits package. There's also flex time and some employees get off at 3:45 so they can spend time with their kids after school. The company also buys school supplies for all employees children.

Nationwide there's been a push for companies to implement more family friendly workplace policies and the push isn't only coming from women, but men as well.

Abby Hughes Holsclaw with the national league of cities is part of that push. She will share ideas at a conference on Wednesday. She says employees shouldn't have to choose between their family and work lives.

"To know that you have the support of your employer can be extremely beneficial for morale and also retention and the over all productivity of an employee," said Hughes- Holsclaw.

Other things businesses can do to help employees is offer child and elder care services, health and wellness initiatives, and flexible work arrangements like working from home or compressed work week.

"If you're not happy at home, then it's unlikely that you'll be happy at work, so we want to make sure that everybody has a great family life and we try to make sure that we don't interfere with that," said Boenigk.

The conference starts Wednesday morning at 8:30 at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center on the campus of Texas A&M. Nominations for local businesses who has family friendly workplace policies were also submitted. The winner will be announced at the conference.


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