Work/Life Programs Still Growing

May 13, 2002 ( - Not only has the recession not prompted companies to slash or even kill their work/life benefit programs, those initiatives have actually increased in popularity, a survey finds.

A Hewitt Associates survey of major US companies found that group purchasing programs and onsite personal conveniences were up 5% and 4% respectively from last year.

Also enjoying growth are financial education/planning, personal/professional growth programs, elder care, child are and flexible scheduling. 

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Specifically, Hewitt researchers found that:

  • the most common work/life benefit is some form of childcare assistance – offered by 94% of companies. Further, 91% of firms with a childcare benefit offer a dependent care spending account, while 43% run referral services.
  • half the sample offer some form of eldercare help whether as dependent care spending or referral programs,
  • 74% offer flexible work options. Of these, 59% allow flexible scheduling, 48% permit part-time employment, 30% go for working at home and 28% allow job sharing,
  • the number of employers offering adoption benefits jumped from 32% last year to 34%, while the average maximum reimbursement also increased by more than $200 to $3,414,
  • 80% offer personal growth opportunities including education reimbursement,
  • over 40% of employers offer financial planning, college scholarships, and financial education workshops,
  • 61% of companies offer at least one onsite personal service with an automated teller machine, dry cleaners, and travel agencies, among the most common, and
  • 44% offer at least one group discount program including group auto or homeowners insurance, long-term care insurance, and group legal services.

The Hewitt work/life survey represents data from 945 major US companies, including 83% of the Fortune 100 and 55% of the Fortune 500 companies.