Archived News

As Labor Day Approaches, National Study of Off-Site Work Finds Major Shift in Traditional Work Environment

The American Business Collaboration (ABC) Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary As the Largest Private Sector Investment of Its Kind to Support Employees

"Credit Where Credit Is Due" Tax Booklet Offers Maximum Tax Benefit To Working Families

New Study Finds Corporate Support of Child Care Programs Has Strong Impact on Job Performance

National Corporate-Sponsored Training Program Attracts Child and After School Professionals from Across the Country

Training Grant funded by Local Companies Helps Child Care Providers Teach Science to Preschoolers


As Labor Day Approaches, National Study of Off-Site Work Finds Major Shift in Traditional Work Environment

The American Business Collaboration Funds Study to Address Workforce of the Future; Finds More than Eighty Percent of All Employees Work at a Distance

BOSTON, MA - (August 26, 2002) - As Labor Day approaches and the country prepares to celebrate the advancements of the American worker over the last 120 years, a national study shows a new era in the American workplace, with only 17 percent of respondents untouched by work at a distance. The national study, "When the Workplace is Many Places: The Extent and Nature of Off-Site Work Today," was commissioned by the American Business Collaboration (ABC) as part of its tenth anniversary commitment to provide leadership on issues affecting the future U.S. workforce.

The newly released report is the first nationally representative study to profile the extent and nature of off-site work from the 360-degree perspective of off-site workers, their colleagues, their managers and their family members. Conducted from March 26 through April 21, 2002 by WFD Consulting and Harris InteractiveŽ, the study surveyed approximately 2000 full-time adult (18+) workers in companies of 500 or more employees, and a sample of family members of off-site workers, using on-line interviews.

"These data reflect a new reality in the American workplace," said Debbie Phillips, Director of the ABC. "As corporate leaders, the ABC commissioned this study to provide the business community with information and data that can be used to maximize the productivity and satisfaction of the workforce."

The major findings show:

  • The impact of off-site work is wide-reaching: only 17 percent of respondents are employees who work exclusively in a company office and don't experience some form of work at a distance.
  • Companies benefit too. Off-site workers, on-site workers and managers all rate off-site workers as doing as well or better than on-site workers when it comes to employee productivity, commitment and job satisfaction.
  • The experiences of off-site workers studied vary widely, from remote and regular tele-workers who are very satisfied with their arrangements to mobile workers who are less so, to customer site workers who are the least satisfied of any group. Training has a strong, positive impact on manager attitudes toward off-site workers, but only one in eight managers receives training in this area.

"Only a small portion of the workforce is untouched by the experience of working over distance," said Karen Noble, WFD Senior Consultant and Director of the Study. "The good news is that businesses can use these findings to change culture and practices which are based on the assumption that employees are physically working in the same location. By implementing policies, guidelines, supports, training and infrastructure changes, companies can tap into the high returns of an effectively managed distributed workforce."

The report also puts to rest several assumptions and myths about off-site and on-site workers:

  • Contrary to fears that employees who work from home will not work as hard because they are out of a supervisor's line of sight, the study finds that off-site workers usually work more hours, are less stressed, and are at least as or more productive than on-site workers.
  • While many managers assume it will be difficult to manage off-site workers, the study finds that most managers with experience and/or training show no preference for managing on-site workers over off-site workers and are satisfied with the performance of both.
  • Concerning the notion that only certain jobs are conducive to off-site work, the study documents that off-site workers currently exist in a wide range of professions and industries.

Intended to help companies better manage today's distributed workforce, the report identifies factors that help or hinder employee effectiveness in working over a distance. "The top barrier to effective work-from-home is not technology as is commonly believed, but the main-site office culture that values face-time and operates in an 'out-of-sight, out of mind' mode," said According to Amy Richman, the study's lead researcher and Senior Consultant at WFD. "The greatest concern, voiced by on- and off-site employees alike, is deterioration both in communication and in a sense of connectedness to the company for those who work at a distance." In addition, many off-site workers also report that technology is inadequate and one-third to one-half rate their technical support as "only fair or poor."

"The ABC has spent 10 years working to address issues concerning the US workforce," said Elaine Chao, US Secretary of Labor. "We commend them on their continued commitment and look forward to seeing how US businesses use this comprehensive data to improve business practices and employee satisfaction."

In the past 10 years the ABC has invested $136 million and impacted more than 135,000 children and elders through more than 1,500 innovative programs for backup care, elder care services, intergenerational programs and school-age programs. Today, nine U.S. national and international corporations (Champions) form the core of the ABC collaboration. They include: Abbott Laboratories, Allstate Insurance Company, Deloitte & Touche, Exxon Mobil Corporation, GE, IBM Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Texas Instruments.

To learn more about the ABC and to request a copy of the study, please visit http://www.abcdependentcare.com, call 800-767-9863 or e-mail ABCinfo@WFD.com.

The American Business Collaboration is administered by WFD Consulting, 55 Chapel Street, Newton, MA 02458, 800-447-0543.

 

The American Business Collaboration (ABC) Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary As the Largest Private Sector Investment of Its Kind to Support Employees Since 1992, The ABC Has Invested $136 Million in America's Workforce

BOSTON, MA - (March, 2002) - In celebration of its 10th year, The American Business Collaboration (ABC) announces its continued commitment to provide dependent care benefits and services to support employees in the workplace. To mark its 10th year, the ABC will announce highly anticipated research results concerning tele/remote workers, and host a series of web teleconferences to highlight dependent care issues affecting employees, including: tele/remote work, elder care, school age programs and affordability of care.

The ABC will launch these initiatives under an expanded model of collaboration that includes the sharing of expertise, information, leadership and financial resources among ABC Champion members in an effort to find new ways to support their employees in the evolving workforce. "The ABC was built on the theme of 'Doing together what none of us can afford to do alone'," said Ted Childs, IBM Vice President, Workplace Diversity. "After 10 years, ABC's collaboration of nine leading US companies is stronger than ever as we come together to pool ideas, expertise, data and resources. We are committed to meeting the increasing demands of work/life balance that face employees. Our goal is to create new choices that will allow our US workforce to excel in today's challenging and dynamic work environment."

ABC's 10th Anniversary year will address key issues affecting the US workforce of the future by hosting four webteleconferences as online forums to examine critical dependent care issues including teleremote workers, school age care, eldercare, and the affordability of care. The web teleconference series will feature expert speakers and target a business audience of corporations interested in improving their dependent care programs in order to impact their bottom line. The teleconferences will encourage discussion of "best practices" between participating companies. Additionally, during its 10th anniversary year, the ABC will reveal findings of the ABC-commissioned teleremote worker research study that point to the future of the US workforce. The tele/remote worker research study is the only study of its kind, taking a multi-directional, multi-variant view of the tele/remote worker for the purpose of identifying the root causes of tele/remote worker success or failure, and offering options for creation of solutions to ensure tele/remote worker success. The full schedule of the web teleconference series will be available on the ABC website at www.abcdependentcare.com.

"These turbulent economic times call for a greater sense of collaboration among our business leaders in order to retain skilled employees and meet the needs of a changing workforce," said Deb Phillips, Director of ABC. "The ABC continues to be a remarkable step for American business: to share information, data, ideas, as well as resources, between competing companies in order to make a difference for their employees."

Between 1992 and 2001, the ABC invested $136 million in funding for child, school age, and elder care programs to fulfill its mission to create and fund programs and resources that merge the goals of corporations with the needs and responsibilities of employees as caregivers of children, teens and elders. During these first nine years, innovative programs for backup care, elder care services, intergenerational programs and school age programs were developed to alleviate gaps between the needs of working families and available services and programs in identified communities across the country. In this time, more than 1,500 childcare and eldercare projects were funded through collaboration by companies participating in ABC's efforts. These projects impacted more than 135,000 children and elders in more than 65 communities. However, the ABC recognizes that there is more work to be done. It is committed to continuing to provide services including school-age care, infant care, back-up care and elder care to meet the needs of employees.

To achieve these goals, today, nine U.S. national and international corporations (Champions) form the core of the ABC collaboration. They include: Abbott Laboratories, The Allstate Corporation, Deloitte & Touche, Exxon Mobil Corporation, General Electric, IBM Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Texas Instruments. To learn more about the ABC, call 800-767-9863 or e-mail ABCinfo@WFD.com.

The American Business Collaboration is administered by WFD Consulting, 55 Chapel Street, Newton, MA 02458, 800-447-0543.


"Credit Where Credit Is Due" Tax Booklet Offers Maximum Tax Benefit To Working Families: National Women's Law Center and American Business Collaboration Partner on Timely Resource

WASHINGTON, DC - (March 6, 2002) - The National Women's Law Center (NWLC) has created a tax booklet aimed at working parents, outlining four of the federal tax breaks available to them to help pay for child and dependent care expenses, reduce their taxes, or increase their tax refunds. The publication, "Credit Where Credit Is Due," was created with funding from the American Business Collaboration (ABC), a ground-breaking collaboration of leading U.S. companies working together to improve the quality of dependent care and to create a work environment that is positive for employees and productive for businesses.

The booklet is designed to inform individuals about four tax breaks in the federal income tax code: the Dependent Care Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Dependent Care Assistance Program. The information provided in the publication can help individuals determine their eligibility to receive the tax assistance these provisions offer for tax year 2001, provide an idea of the amount of tax assistance the individual can expect to receive and how to claim it, and answer some other questions about these tax breaks. The booklet is not intended to provide legal assistance but to help individuals understand their eligibility for tax breaks.

"The tax booklet is a timely and useful answer to helping parents, especially those with moderate incomes, meet the high cost of child and dependent care," said Betty Purkey, Work/Life - Diversity Programs for Texas Instruments. "As corporate leaders for the evolving workforce, ABC Champion companies strive to make a difference for their employees by funding dependent care programs that have a measurable impact on working families and individuals caring for dependents."

"High-quality child care is essential to helping parents work and for the healthy development of their children, and many families need dependent care as well. But both child and dependent care take a big bite out of the family budget. Every family should make sure it is getting the tax breaks it is due, and this booklet can help," said Nancy Duff Campbell, NWLC Co-President. Childcare expenses account for between six and 35 percent of a family's income and dependent care expenses are even higher.

The booklet will be distributed to employees of the ABC member companies, childcare resource and referral agencies, and professionals via print and electronic forms. It will be offered to the general public through the NWLC web site at www.nwlc.org and on the ABC website at www.abcdependentcare.com. To ensure that the booklet information is kept current, NWLC will provide updates on the tax laws through 2003.

Since 1992, the ABC has invested more than $125 million in funding for child, school age, and elder care programs to fulfill its mission to create and fund programs and resources that merge the goals of corporations with the needs and responsibilities of employees as caregivers of children, teens and elders.

During ABC's first nine years, innovative programs for backup care, elder care services, intergenerational programs and school age programs were developed to alleviate gaps between the needs of working families and available services and programs in identified communities across the country. Between 1992 and 2001, more than 1,500 childcare and eldercare projects were funded through collaboration by companies participating in ABC's efforts. These projects impacted more than 135,000 children and elders in more than 65 communities.

Today, nine U.S. national and international corporations (Champions) form the core of the ABC collaboration. They include: Abbott Laboratories, The Allstate Corporation, Deloitte & Touche, Exxon Mobil Corporation, General Electric, IBM Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Texas Instruments. To learn more about the ABC, call 800-767-9863 or e-mail ABCinfo@WFD.com.

The American Business Collaboration is administered by WFD Consulting, 55 Chapel Street, Newton, MA 02458, 800-447-0543. WFD Consulting was responsible for the design and printing of the "Credit Where Credit Is Due" tax booklet.

The National Women's Law Center is a non-profit organization that has been working since 1972 to advance and protect women's legal rights. NWLC focuses on major policy areas of importance to women and their families including economic security, education, employment and health, with special attention given to the concerns of low-income women, and has particular expertise in tax policies that finance child and dependent care. Through extensive educational efforts, NWLC helped secure improvements in the federal Dependent Care Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit as part of the federal tax legislation enacted in June 2001, which will help millions of families pay for their child and dependent care expenses.

Later this spring, NWLC will release a comprehensive report on the effectiveness of state tax credits for employers who offer child care assistance to their employees. In April, NWLC will release a report and state-by-state "report card" analyzing and evaluating states on their tax provisions for child and dependent care. To learn more about NWLC, call 202-588-5180 or visit www.nwlc.org.


New Study Finds Corporate Support of Child Care Programs Has Strong Impact on Job Performance

BOSTON, MA - (October 5, 2000) - The American Business Collaboration for Quality Dependent Care’s (ABC) groundbreaking $125 million effort to improve the quality of dependent care has had a strong impact on job performance, according to a study released today.

The study, conducted by Abt Associates in Cambridge, also found high employee support for corporate-funded child care programs.

The Collaboration is composed of 21 of the largest corporations in the country. Since 1992, the participating companies have invested in more than 1,000 projects to expand the quantity and enhance the quality of dependent care in 66 communities nationwide.

The report said that among 1,483 employees surveyed at ABC companies in 10 communities across the country, 63 percent reported an improvement in productivity because of Collaboration programs. The study looked at productivity measures among employees and found:

ABC Study-2-2-2

• 40 percent felt less stressed by family responsibilities and spent less time at work worrying about their family.

• 35 percent were better able to concentrate on work.

• 30 percent had to leave work less often to deal with family situations.

"The study reinforces our belief that investing in dependent care programs for our employees is beneficial in attracting and retaining a more productive and motivated workforce," said Betty Purkey, manager of Work/Life Programs at Texas Instruments and chair of the Collaboration’s Measurement Committee.

She said the study demonstrates that ABC’s efforts to improve the quality of child care resources for employees has paid off:

• 63 percent felt that their current ABC-supported child care program is better than child care programs they previously used.

• 71 percent felt that their ABC-supported program was of higher quality than other child care programs in their community.

The study surveyed employees utilizing the five major types of child care programs supported by ABC — center-based care, family child care, school-age child care, summer school-age programs and backup child care. Across all five types of child care programs, the principal findings were the same:

• Employees were aware of their employer’s support for their child care providers and strongly favor this support.

ABC Study-3-3-3

• Employees felt that use of ABC-supported child care had improved their productivity at work.

Purkey said that ABC is committed to improving the quality of care for children of all ages and has been instrumental in developing national quality standards for child care and school-age programs.

While the assessment focused on child care initiatives which constitute 94 percent of ABC’s investments, surveyed employees who utilized ABC-supported elder care programs also reported high levels of satisfaction and improved productivity.


National Corporate-Sponsored Training Program Attracts Child and After School Professionals from Across the Country

ATLANTA, GA - (October 16, 2000) – More than one million children from throughout the country could benefit from enhanced child care, after school and summer programs as a result of an innovative, corporate-sponsored national training event taking place this month in Atlanta.

More than 250 child care and afterschool professionals have received grants to attend the ABC 2000 National Training Event Oct. 19-20.

Participants will attend workshops to learn how to introduce science to preschoolers, enhance homework skills in afterschool programs and institute family friendly practices in child care settings.

The two-day event is believed to be the largest corporate-sponsored training program solely dedicated to the child care needs of working parents.

The American Business Collaboration for Quality Dependent Care (ABC) will fund the cost of travel, lodging and training for the 250 participants.

The Collaboration, a coalition led by 18 major corporations, has invested over $125 million to improve the quality and expand

the quantity of dependent care programs in 68 communities since 1992.

ABC Training-2-2-2

ABC is supporting this training event to enhance its legacy of improving dependent care and to share its expertise to benefit a greater number of children and families.

Participants will attend sessions led by nationally recognized trainers from leading organizations and educational institutions such as Educators for Social Responsibility, Wheelock College and the University of Southern Illinois.

The workshops will focus on training methods and best practices for improving programming for family and center based childcare as well as school-age care. All of the 11 workshops will teach the participants how to train others in the state-of-the-art curricula and materials developed by ABC.

As a way to maximize the benefits of the training event, each representative will conduct at least four training sessions in the community over the next year to share the knowledge and skills acquired during the ABC 2000 National Training.

In addition, ABC has allocated over $500,000 in training grants to community agencies sending participants to the event. Agencies will be invited to apply for grants to support their local training initiatives.


Training Grant funded by Local Companies Helps Child Care Providers Teach Scienceto Preschoolers

DANBURY, CT (October 6, 2000) - A new program designed to teach science to preschool children at 15 area child care centers will be launched this week in Danbury.

The Discovery Science Preschool Project offers child care providers training, materials and resources on how to teach science to this young age group.

The program is funded by GE Capital Services and IBM through their participation in the American Business Collaboration for Quality Dependent Care (ABC).

ABC is an effort to improve child and elder care programs in 68 communities throughout the US, and has invested over $125 million to date in programs around the country.

Locally, Infoline, a program of the United Way of Connecticut, is coordinating the Discovery Science Preschool program. Child care centers located in the greater Danbury and Stamford areas as well as in Westchester County are participating in the project.

The six month long program kicks off Sept. 22 when 45 local child care providers will undergo two days of training from nationally recognized leaders in the preschool science program from the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Dr. Heidi Gold-Dworkin and other trainers from Little Scientists in Ansonia are involved as the local science specialists and will be providing technical assistance as well as help with community resources.

In addition to the hands-on training, each participating center receives a Discovery Science Project kit containing $1,000 worth of materials and equipment, a science library and certificates for books, materials and software.

The training project also includes regular meetings of the participants where they can monitor progress and share successes. A Discovery Science Evening of Celebration will be held later in the year when participants will share the children’s work done in their respective centers.

Child care centers participating in the program are encouraged to host an event for parents, children and teachers to showcase the new science activities that have been incorporated into the curriculum.

 

 

 

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