Sunday, January 21, 2007

"PCAST" Study: Worry about Kids a Drag on Productivity

A recent study by Catalyst, released Dec. 6, 2006, has put focus on what many working parents already intuitive know: "Millions of working fathers and mothers are less productive at work due to concerns about what their children are doing in the after-school hours."

The study, "After-School Worries: Tough on Parents, Bad for Business," was conducted in cooperation with the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University.

In reporting the findings, the researchers have devised a handy little acronym,
“PCAST,” standing for Parental Concern about After-School Time, to sum up those little minutes of distraction and commiseration with co-workers and worried phone calls that add up to hours of anxiety and afternoon-killers on the job.

"With over 52 million working parents in the United States," the study projects, "PCAST contributes to worker stress that costs businesses between $50 billion and $300 billion annually in lost job productivity."

Among the remedies this productivity-killer, the study suggests, is building real flexibility into the workplace: "Developing “The Agile Workplace,” placing emphasis on more job control enabling employees to “work smart” and perform better, focusing on goals and results, and granting all employees access to flexible work programs, including flex-time, telecommuting, and flex-space."

For more, see the release at Catalyst -- it's in Adobe PDF, so you need to install the free Adobe Reader software first.