Adecco (New Jersey) Release: American Employees Admire Working Moms, but Some Resent Flexibility

Published: May 09, 2007

MELVILLE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mother's Day is May 13, and according to Adecco USA's latest Workplace Insights survey, 59 percent of working men age 35-44 say flexibility for working mothers causes some resentment amongst coworkers. Though overall most adult workers (67 percent) don't think working moms receive more flexibility than other employees, this negative attitude and perception towards working moms is something corporate America should take note of.

Additional key findings from the survey:

* Positive Perceptions on Productivity: More than 8 out of 10 (82 percent) U.S. workers report that working moms are just as productive as employees who aren't parents. And 44 percent of moms who work say flextime helps them be more productive.

* Flextime Tension: 36 percent of respondents say moms' flexibility negatively affects team dynamics; and 31 percent say employee morale is also adversely affected.

* Admire Abilities: 88 percent of U.S. workers say they admire working moms' ability to "do it all" when it comes to work and family.

"Mother's Day is an excellent time to celebrate all of the great things mothers do, as well as recognize their workplace achievements and ability to successfully juggle home life and career," says Bernadette Kenny, chief career officer of Adecco. "American workers realize the abilities working moms possess, but our survey findings show that employers have some work to do to manage the perceptions and attitudes many employees have toward the special arrangements provided to working moms."

Managers and business leaders alike can take several steps to help keep any negativity at bay:

* Balance isn't Only for Mom: Give male workers opportunities provided to their female counterparts. Men today often share, or manage entirely, home duties. Creating arrangements to allow them to balance work and career can have a tremendous impact on retention and productivity. Even if only a few male workers utilize such programs, promoting these types of opportunities can serve as internal morale boosters.

* Document Flexible Arrangements: Have a written flex policy and post team schedules on your intranet or make sure that they are front and center for staff to view. Communicating flextime arrangements helps guarantee employees can prepare deadlines and priorities accordingly. Keeping teammates in the know helps the planning and scheduling of projects - and can help team dynamics.

* Productivity Counts: Manage those with flex-schedules so priorities aren't left unattended, thus forcing others to pick up the slack. Hold weekly check-ins and send around status updates on key projects so that one person's flexible schedule doesn't affect overall productivity and deliverables.

"Any flexible work arrangement must meet specific business needs first, as some jobs are simply not open to much flexibility due to their inherent nature," states Kenny. "But by taking a holistic look at how your organization structures programs and communicates them to employees is a great first step to creating a happy and productive workforce."

Survey Methodology:

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Adecco USA between April 26 and April 30, 2007 among 1,909 adults (aged 18 and over) who are employed full-time and/or part-time. Figures for region, age within gender, education, household income and race/ethnicity were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online. With a pure probability sample of 1,909, one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results would have a sampling error of +/- 4 percentage points. Sampling error for data based on the sub-samples of employed men (n= 921) and employed women (n= 988) would be higher and would vary. However, that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Throughout this release, "U.S. workers" or "American workers" refers to U.S. adults ages 18+ who are employed full-time and/or part-time (n= 1,909).


Adecco S.A. is a Global Fortune 500 company and the world leader in workforce solutions. The Adecco Group network connects over 700,000 associates with business clients each day through its network of over 33,000 employees and 6,600 offices in over 70 countries and territories around the world. Registered in Switzerland, and managed by a multinational team with expertise in markets spanning the globe, the Adecco Group delivers an unparalleled range of flexible staffing and career resources to corporate clients and qualified associates.


Adecco is the workforce solutions leader in the United States and Canada, with a comprehensive service offering that includes temporary and contract staffing, permanent recruitment, outplacement and career services, training and consulting.

Adecco operates the following specialty divisions in the U.S. and around the world: Adecco Office; Adecco Industrial; Adecco Engineering & Technical; Adecco Human Capital Solutions; Adecco Finance; Adecco Legal; Adecco Information Technology; Adecco Medical & Science; and Adecco Government Solutions.

Adecco S.A. is registered in Switzerland (ISIN: CH001213860) and listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange with trading on virt-x (SWX/VIRT-X: ADEN), and Euronext Paris - Premier Marche (EURONEXT: ADE).

Additional information is available at the company's website at


Ogilvy PR Worldwide Cynthia Greenberg, 212-880-5379

Source: Adecco USA

Back to news