Family-friendliness is a part of a functioning and modern working community.

Family-friendliness consists of practical actions and attitudes.
Even small acts can have a major impact on the well-being of both the employees and their family life. Sometimes rearrangements inside a company/organisation demand much time and work.

One of the most wished-for practices among families is flexibility of starting and ending time of the workday.

Family-friendly practices

- benefit both the employer and the employee

- can be implemented individually or in certain occasions

- bring increased well-being and productivity

- product competitive advantage

Flexibility

- telecommuting, mobile work, working regularily or occassionally at home office

- flexible working hours

- arrangements in the case of absence due to family reasons

- arranging weekly meetings at a time that is convenient for as many of the participants as possible.

Flexibility means various forms of flexibility in the work community with focus on the employee.

Some opportunities for flexibility must be kept separate from flexible working on the initiative of the employer or manager. Demands of flexibility often follow the need for better productivity or are specific to certain work tasks. They can be in conflict with reconciling work and personal life.

Sometimes it is the employee who needs to be flexible. But, if the employer is in turn flexible too, this is a win.win situation at the workplace for the both parties. The employer may have different options for different kinds of flexibility and arrangements in different situations.

All employees do not necessarily need flexibility at the same time. Employees wishes and needs vary and they are often in a different life situation. At a family-friendly workplace all employees in the same situation are treated equally.

Be clear and prepared for these:

Fare treatment: Employees in the same situation should be offered the similar kind of flexibility.

Planning: The arrangements should be planned beforehand, so they do not surprise anybody.

Substitutes: Finding a substitute or making arrangements for temporary cases of absence or temporary parental leaves sometimes have to be done quickly.

Guidelines: The guidelines should be reviewed well in advance and be accessible in written form to the employees. Managers must be prepared to deal with questions of work and life balance.