Melanie Otto remembers well the difficulty of holding down a job while raising two children. The juggling act was taxing, especially since her husband worked third shift.
Now, however, the headache has vanished.
Thats because Ottos employer, U.S. Endoscopy, recently added an on-site day care center to its Mentor plant.
On-site day care centers are just one of a growing number of perks business owners are integrating into their operations to meet employee demand for greater benefits. Some companies are installing on-site services, while others contract outside firms to handle a variety of tasks everything from dry cleaning to valet, concierge and limousine services.
Joan Rosenthal, owner of ServiceTime, provides those types of services to the employees of several downtown businesses.
We wanted to offer a sort of one-stop shop at the place of employment, she says. We go and pick up their clothes to clean, their shoes for mending or even a shopping list. We can even bring the employee an evening meal for his or her family.
Rosenthal says several businesses, including KeyCorp, have utilized the service for their employees. Unlike U.S. Endoscopys daycare center, which is free to employees, workers must pay for the extras provided by ServiceTime.
But more and more employers are adding these services, and employees dont seem to mind who foots the bill. Thats because more families these days have two breadwinners, and issues such as child care have moved to the forefront.
Initial investments are minimal, depending on whats being integrated, says Allison Hanson, U.S. Endoscopys marketing manager. Her company brought in an outside firm, The Modern Child, to operate the day care center. And while the costs are relatively low, the impact is enormous.
We have seen a decreased turnover in employees and the employees take less sick days, Hanson says. There has also been a huge boost in morale.
One reason is that the center is free. Another is that the company developed it last year in an effort to increase worker productivity and satisfy employee demand for more benefits.
For Otto, the center has made her days easier.
Its just amazing, she says. I like the idea of spending time with the kids during the day. I can spend my lunch and breaks with them.
How to reach: U.S. Endoscopy (800) 768-8226
Courie Weston is an editorial intern at SBN.