Working parents constantly juggle the demands of work and family life. Employees who spend work time worrying about their children or elderly relatives spend less time working for your customers.

WFD, a 478-person provider of corporate work-life services, in Boston, knows that helping people deal with the personal side of life - so they can devote more energy to work - is vital to company success. WFD offers several tips on how to help employees balance work and family life.

  • Offer child-care referral services for employees. An unforeseeable event - a sick child who can't go to day care or a babysitter who doesn't show up - adds stress to a working parent's day, and parents in this situation are often late for work. Assisting parents in emergencies can reduce stress and improve employee attendance.
  • Support parents' need for supervision of children during nonschool hours. Some firms recruit and train child-care providers who offer programs for after-school hours or school vacations. The goal is to keep parents on the job when children have time off from school.
  • Give employees the opportunity to vary work hours - work at home, use flextime, or compress their work week - to deal with family obligations. These variations can lead to better customer service and expanded business hours.