Only 17% of U.S. households are considered "traditional" with a husband in the workforce and a wife who is not — making the "nontraditional" the new traditional.

Source: Catalyst 1998: U.S. Department of Labor, 2005

With a growing demand for flexible work arrangements, both employees and employers are interested in implementing practical solutions to help America's workforce balance their many commitments. Employers also want their firms to have a competitive edge in attracting and retaining talented employees. According to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's Workplace, Work Force, and Working Families Program, "... in today's 21st century work force, nearly four out of five working Americans--across age, income, and stage in life--want more flexibility at work. But a flexibility gap exists: the demand for flexibility far exceeds its availability."

ODEP recognizes that Customized Employment is one form of the growing movement of workplace flexibility or flexible work arrangements (FWAs) — flexibility around the job tasks rather than the location or the schedule. According to the National Council on Disability, "The movement for flexibility in the workplace brings people with disabilities to... the discussion in which the workplace needs of all employees are taken into account." (National Council on Disability's report: Implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act: Challenges, Best Practices, and New Opportunities for Success (July 26, 2007).

  • Telework Basics — Telework gives employees more control over their schedules and greater flexibility in meeting personal and professional responsibilities. It also offers freedom from office distractions, reduces work-life stress, and provides an alternative workplace arrangement in case of emergencies.