Hi, we've looked at a lot of environmental issues, but sustainable business is also about people. In this lecture, we'll discuss how companies can make their workplaces better for employees and their families. As sustainability changes, these may have to wait until you've been in the organization for a while to really understand how it works, what employees would value, and what policies would best fit the company. I'll talk about several types of policies, discuss the evidence about benefits from companies that have implemented them, and then close by mentioning a few caveats or cautions you should be aware of. The first group of policies are called family friendly because they help make life easier for employees with children or parents that need care. These policies also help families where both parents work. Largely, this means drawing women back into the workforce or helping them to continue working as their children grow up. Here are some common examples, but the important thing is to find out what your employees need, and craft policies that address those needs. Flexible scheduling. For employees with kids the prime work hours are while the children are in school. Some people have to take care of an elderly parent. Flexible scheduling makes juggling these family commitments possible. Without some flexibility in your scheduling, your company may be losing potentially wonderful employees who have family demands on their time. Flexible scheduling opens up hiring to a broader set of people, so the company has a chance to find better talent. Job sharing. Two or more employees can split a single position. This can work very well in retail and manufacturing settings, but when the business depends on establishing a relationship with customers or clients, it may not be appropriate. My experience, watching job sharing in coworkers, is that one of the job sharers often misses information provided in all staff meetings. When the positions are created, some expectations about attending meetings like this needs to be stated. If a company doesn't use these kind of meetings to communicate, then job sharing's a lot easier to organize. Telecommuting. Some jobs, or parts of some jobs lend themselves to be done offsite. Coding and many administrative positions can be done remotely. Whether working remotely is one day a week or half time or some other amount of time depends on the specific job. It's important that people come into the office for some meetings, unless teleconferencing has been approved beforehand. Telecommuting should be seen as a privilege that requires an investment by the company and the employee. The employee needs to have an appropriate workspace, and if children are at home during work hours, there has to be someone else there to watch them. Finally, people, bosses and employees, have to recognize that effective telecommuting takes a fair amount of discipline, which some people just don't have. Child care program. Some businesses can have on-site child care, but for others, especially smaller companies and most retail stores, it may be having a list or even a relationship with some trustworthy child care facilities. If child care is at a premium, knowing when to get on and how to move up waiting lists can be a huge help to first time parents. Nursing mothers. The federal Break Time for Nursing Mothers law was implemented in 2010. The law requires employers to provide break time in a private place for hourly paid employees to pump breast milk during the work day. It may not apply to some smaller companies with fewer than 50 employees if the company has filed for some sort of hardship exemption. Depending on how the Affordable Care Act is changed, this requirement could go away. Now, we'll switch gears a little bit and discuss work stress or work-life balance. Here's a headline. Work related stress costs the US economy $300 billion a year. Wow, I found that on the Internet, and it's been repeated many times. That's incredible, right? Well, it actually is incredible in the unbelievable sense of that word. That number turns out to be at best a guess, and probably a very rough guess. But stress does have an effect on workplace productivity, on company profits, and employee health, and it carries over to employees' home life. Stress contributes to absenteeism, employee turnover, diminished productivity, workplace accidents, workers' compensation awards, and higher medical and insurance costs. Stress isn't the only cause of these costs. But what can companies do? Or more importantly, what can you and other employees do? First you have to understand that while we're all very sympathetic about physical injury and illness, there's often a different attitude about mental or psychological problems. But we can get better about asking people how they're doing and not just accepting, I'm fine, if their body language and their behavior and energy level suggest otherwise. If a person is having a hard time, talking to friends and colleagues can help. You can give people suggestions about possible changes, or just let them know that many of us have gone through periods like they're going through. In terms of actual remedies, these are simple, but can be difficult to implement in some work cultures. The experts all seem to agree that taking time to exercise, even just a 15 minute walk, helps. In fact, even a few minutes of stretching can help. There are computer apps that remind you to get up from your desk and move around or to let your eyes rest. This doesn't address the problem though. If stress is an issue, you may need to establish some boundaries, so when you leave work, you really leave. We know that sometimes we have to work later on weekends, but this shouldn't be expected every evening and every weekend. Maybe turn off the phone during the evening, so you can enjoy uninterrupted time with your family or your friends or yourself. Some companies offer concierge services to help employees get some errands done while they're at work. This can be a stress reducer because it's one less thing that the employee doesn't have to fit in after work. If the stress is too much work, you need to talk to your supervisor about changing deadlines or shifting some responsibilities. This can be a difficult conversation, because it might affect your chances of promotion. If promotion means more responsibilities and more stress, maybe that's okay. Some companies have a work hard, play hard culture that doesn't fit everyone. Other companies have a face time culture where the norm is get there before the boss and leave afterwards. That doesn't mean all that time is productive. It's just being there that matters, not what gets accomplished. At some companies, the culture is for employees not to take their vacations. Or if they do, they stay connected to work. You need time to recharge, so be sure to take the time you've earned. If these types of company cultures don't fit your personality or values, you need to consider finding a position that does fit. There's growing evidence that people are happier, likely to stay at a job longer and are more productive, when allowed to telecommute or work remotely. This is from a Harvard Business Review article published in 2014. There's also evidence that stress reduces productivity in job performance. So making employers happier and healthier isn't just being nice, it's good for the company and its customers. There are a couple things you need to be aware of as you begin to think about these types of employee benefits. Not everybody can use a particular benefit. For example, policies focused on children and families won't resonate with older employees or those whose children have left home. If you focus on a single type of benefit, you'll be leaving some employees out, which could cause some resentment. Be sure to create a portfolio of several policies that has something for almost everyone. Thanks.