<p>LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. – Despite cynical speculation that work/life programs would be the first to be cut during the recession a recent survey finds that these programs actually increased this past year. Conducted by Hewitt Associates, an outsourcing/ consulting firm, most companies recognize that work/life benefits are one of the best ways to boost morale. “As the recession deepened, we found that companies conducted more complete cost-benefit analyses on all of their people programs,” said Hewitt Work/Life Consultant Carol Sladek. “We have long said that work/life benefits present a great, and often low-cost, way to motivate employees, engender loyalty and enhance productivity. The fact that these programs have continued to grow through a period of deep budget cuts and belt tightening suggests that employers recognize their impact on the bottom line.” Group purchasing programs and onsite personal conveniences were the two hottest growth fields, up 5% and 4% respectively from last year. Here is a list of what popular benefits employers are opting to offer: Childcare 94% Elder care 50% Alternative work arrangements 74% Adoption benefits 34% Personal/professional growth 80% Financial security 44% Onsite personal services 61% Group purchasing/discounted purchases 44%</p>

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