It’s common knowledge that home caregivers provide an enormous benefit to their families and society; now a new report suggests that businesses can benefit from acknowledging this and accommodating employees who are home caregivers.
“Determining the Return on Investment: Supportive Policies for Employee Caregivers” was put together jointly by AARP and Respect a Caregiver’s Time (ReACT). The authors take a look at peer-reviewed studies from both industry and the government to see what kinds of benefits (and costs) are associated with policies that tend to be more supportive of home caregivers. For example, flextime and telecommuting policies are generally much more amenable to schedules of home caregivers than situations with strict time schedules that require a constant physical presence in a specific location. When examining the effects of these favorable policies on areas like absenteeism, productivity, retention, and recruitment, it’s clear that they bring benefits for employers with caregivers on their rolls.
For example, one study found a 20% reduction in absenteeism among those employees who were granted flextime in a company versus those who were not. A statistical model found that productivity increased by 10% for those with flextime availability.
Similarly, telecommuting produced benefits for both employers and employees. The studies found a 12 – 26% increase in a candidate’s likelihood to apply for a job at a company with telecommuting as an option. One economic model suggested that a company’s profit margin would be positively affected by 0.6% for every 1% of the employee base that was allowed to work from home. Overall, businesses offering flextime and telecommuting options saw a return on investment increase between $1.70 and $4.45 for each dollar spent on incorporating these policies.
For home caregivers, accommodations such as these have a clear benefit, enabling them to maintain their jobs while offering supportive care for loved ones. Since some 60% of our 40,000,000 family home caregivers are employed either full or part-time, this is a clear need.
Businesses that can offer accommodations such as these not only can retain valuable employees who might otherwise need to seek alternative employment, but they can also see a substantial return on their investment.