Everyone who works also has interests and responsibilities outside of their jobs. For quite some time, human resource benefits have been evolving toward making it possible for people to have both a fulfilling career and a satisfying personal life.

Adding accommodations for caregivers is not new as much as it is an expanded view of what it means to care for family. Here are three places to infuse more flexibility into your policies, which will be seen as an improvement for all workers, not just caregivers.

Flexible Schedule

Permission to work outside of a company’s normal business hours can be immensely helpful to workers who balance caregiving and their paid job.

While there are 168 hours in a week, the majority of American businesses have rigidly clung to just the hours between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. This rigidity may be forcing your employees to sneak around, just to be able to take care of their families.

By imagining how much of your company’s work could get done at any other time, you can create a wealth of possibilities for employee caregivers. For example:

  • Could someone condense their work week into fewer days, giving them an extra weekday to manage caregiving responsibilities?
  • Could someone come in at noon and work into the evening, so that they can reserve their mornings for scheduling physical therapy or doctor appointments for their loved one?
  • Could someone work on the weekends, when other family members can take care of their loved one?
  • Can your company offer a combination of all of the above?
  • What about a temporary shift from full-time to part-time?

Flexible Work Environment

Where companies have landed on the work-from-home spectrum in a post-Covid world varies across industries, but one thing is clear: Almost every company learned how to do it. Companies can make this possible by:

  • Allowing a certain number of hours or days each week for working from home.
  • To avoid stigma, permit this accommodation to all employees.
  • Provide the technology to enable remote working.
  • Rethink the need for all positions to be present in person, and whittle the in-person requirements to those that truly benefit your company and workforce.

Flexible Paid Time Off

Maybe your company offers paid vacation, some sick leave and a couple of personal days. What if you didn’t keep tabs on what kind of leave workers take but instead included it all in one pool of “paid personal time” to do with as they choose?

A system that pushes employees to take sick leave when they aren’t actually sick doesn’t feel right to them and perpetuates stereotypes of caregiving workers “gaming” the system.

Flexible time off policies can add flexibility without increasing the amount of paid leave your company provides. These may include:

  • An open leave policy that grants paid time off to be used for vacation, sick or personal time — however the employee chooses.
  • A leave policy that doesn’t ask the employee their plans for taking paid time off.
  • The ability to take a half-day or just a few hours of leave, rather than an entire day.

Flexible Benefits

Many part-time workers are just as loyal and valuable as their full-time counterparts, and despite vague federal and state regulations, many companies and organizations already provide benefits to part-timers. This arrangement can be the perfect solution to employee caregivers who love their jobs but cannot commit to a 40-hour work week.

  • Many benefits can be “scaled,” such as time off, so that there is equity between part-timers and full-timers.
  • Providing part-time employees with health insurance while also allowing employees to temporarily shift from full-time to part-time work can help companies retain valuable employees who need more time for caregiving.
  • Supporting part-time workers can give companies enhanced flexibility for staffing and may also provide budgetary advantages in that a highly qualified worker can be employed for less than a full salary.

Ready to create a more caregiver-friendly workplace?

Here are three ways you can get started:

Explore the Caregiver-Friendly Workplaces Toolkit

Learn how companies with effective caregiver-friendly programs and policies can be better places to work and more profitable, too.

Go to Toolkit

Host a Screening of the “Unseen” Documentary

The “Unseen” documentary gives an unfiltered, honest glimpse into the lives of caregivers and their families.


Homethrive is transforming the way we care, making it smarter, easier, and more rewarding for everyone.

Whether caring for a loved one due to age, disability, or a medical condition, our intuitive online platform provides personalized advice and expert assistance, however and whenever it’s needed. We help caregivers discover a better way forward that prioritizes their loved one’s care and their own wellbeing, so they can thrive at home and at work