Flex-work benefits thriving in small businesses

Employers feel responsibility to help employees balance work and family
By David Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/25/2002

It’s widely accepted these days that a top driver of employee commitment is recognizing and accommodating employees’ personal lives. And contrary to popular belief, small organizations are at least as capable as large companies at meeting employees’ needs when it comes to balancing home and work.

“People tend to assume that a major corporation can offer flexible work arrangements that a smaller business cannot because of its size, but we found that is simply not the case,” said Kerry Daly of the University of Guelph’s Centre for Families, Work and Well-being in Ontario, and co-author of a new study Family-Friendly Practices and Flexibility in Small Companies in Canada.

In fact, it turns out that small businesses are sometimes surpassing larger firms when it comes to helping employees balance home and work. Not only are they offering as many flexible work arrangements, but the informality, the sense of team and family and the inherent flexibility that define smaller organizations can make them ideally suited for flex-work to function effectively.