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Sprint recognizes the importance for our employees to achieve a healthy balance between their work and personal lives. Achieving a healthy balance improves personal productivity, enhances employee health and wellness, and leads to an overall improved work and home environment. Sprint is committed to helping employees find a good balance and offers a range of programs and services designed to meet the needs of our diverse workforce. Among the programs we offer are flexible work schedules, support programs for families, and health and wellness programs. Check out some of the specific opportunities Sprint offers to help employees achieve a healthy work/life balance: Flexible Work Arrangements, Support for Families, Health and Wellness Programs, Time-off Policies, and Benefits Promoting a Work/Life Balance.
Sprint is committed to helping our customers, and we always work to make sure that our operations, particularly front-line operations, are fully staffed with knowledgeable, helpful employees. But we also recognize that today's technology, some of which Sprint sells, allows employees to work from virtually anywhere while continuing to produce outstanding results. When work needs can be fully met and the employee has manager approval, Sprint allows employees to telecommute and/or adopt a more flexible work schedule.
Sprint offers several flexible work programs, Sprint Mobile Workforce and Telecommuting, as well as less formal agreements between an employee and their manager. Full-time telecommuters work five days per week from their home and 50 miles or more from a Sprint location. These employees are not assigned a permanent work space at a Sprint location. Employee who do not meet this criteria but do not need an assigned workspace are part of the Sprint Mobile Worforce Program. Participants in this program are based out of a Sprint building, but do not have an assigned office space. Instead, they may work from mobility workstations, any other group or community space in a Sprint office, their home or "third" workplaces (e.g., airports or coffee shops).
Sprint studied employee-workstation utilization and found that non-customer service employees occupy their workstations less than 40 percent of the workday. The rest of the time they are in a meeting, collaborating, travelling or working from other sites. With this in mind, we developed our flexible work strategy understanding that many of our employees don't need a personal, dedicated 24-hour-a-day workstation.
Sprint has over 200 Sprint Mobile Zones nationally. Since we've implemented the program the company has been able to reduce square footage by over 50% per head count in areas covered. In total Sprint saves over $30 million annually in lease and overhead expense. 4,800 employees formally participate in the program. Based on national average commute times and distances this has saved these employees approximately 1 million hours a year in commuting time. Additionally this has saved participating employees about 37 million miles in commuting to an office.
Employees with families often have special needs to consider, in particular, for children and aging parents. Sprint has a wide range of programs that provide support for our employees with families ranging from traditional benefits such as medical plans and life insurance to less common programs such as adoption assistance and benefits for opposite- and same-sex domestic partners.
Sprint provides guidance as well as financial support for employees going through the adoption process. From an award-winning Adoption Assistance Program to pre-tax day-care contributions to tools employees need to guide them through the adoption process, Sprint is there to help employees and their families as they go through this exciting change. Sprint reimburses adoption expenses of up to $5,000 per child for up to two children a year.
Sprint offers strong support for Sprint parents once they discover they are "expecting" a new child. Sprint’s employee-wellness program (Sprint Alive!) and employee-assistance program (GuidanceResources) offer specific support options for expectant mothers and their families. Sprint Alive! offers a Maternity Program that provides important pregnancy-related information to help mothers-to-be make healthy decisions. Once enrolled, participants have access to BabyLine, a 24-hour toll-free maternity nurse line. Guidance Resources offers guidance on topics such as diet and health, childproofing your home, adjusting to parenthood, and preparing siblings for a new baby. Expectant mothers and fathers both have the opportunity to take time off after the birth of the baby and can review their options with a Sprint benefits counselor. New mothers can review Sprint’s Nursing Mother policy and then determine if their work location has dedicated New Mothers rooms or make other arrangements with their supervisor. Sprint wants to ensure its employees feel supported during this exciting time.
It's becoming increasingly common for employees to need assistance caring for aging parents. Sprint’s Employee Assistance Program and Dependent Day Care Reimbursement Account offer assistance for employees struggling to take care of an aging or seriously ill loved one. Guidance Resources, Sprint’s Employee Assistance Program, offers employees online and telephone support, as well as access to confidential counseling services, regarding a variety of personal issues, including the challenges of caring for an aging or seriously ill loved one. The Dependent Day Care Reimbursement Account helps employees reduce their taxes on funds that go toward elder care for a tax-qualified dependent.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees to take unpaid time off to care for a seriously ill spouse, parent or a person who acted as a parent while they were growing up. Under FMLA, employees can take a maximum of 12 weeks away from work, if they are eligible. Sprint also offers FMLA-like benefits for employees needing to take leave to care for seriously ill domestic partners.
Sprint offers a wide-range of health and wellness programs that improve employee's ability to manage their work/life balance.
Employees on Sprint’s Overland Park, Kan., headquarters campus and Reston, Va., campus (another large concentration of employees) have access to on-site health clinics. The clinics are also open to eligible dependents age 10 and up and offer acute-care treatment, physical therapy and (in Overland Park) an on-site pharmacy. Employees in Overland Park, Reston and other key locations have access to on-site fitness centers with costs much lower than many off-site alternatives; some of these fitness centers are also open to eligible dependents. Additional information on the Overland Park and Reston fitness centers can be found at www.mysprintfitness.com.
Administered by Optum Health, Sprint Alive! is Sprint’s employee-wellness program and gives employees free, confidential access to a 24-hour nurse line, disease-management information, and online and telephone support. The Sprint Alive! health-improvement and disease-management programs provide incentives to participating employees for program completion -- thereby double-rewarding the employees (once with better health and once with a financial reward). Call-center employees tend to have a unique workplace experience that wouldn't typically allow much exercise throughout the day, so the Sprint Alive! program regularly sends Wellness Ambassadors to Sprint call centers to promote a healthy environment and activities that help employees make behavior changes. Examples of Wellness Ambassadors programs include scheduled walks, nutritional talks, seated chair massages and yoga classes. More information about Sprint Alive! can be found at www.sprintalive.com.
Administered by ComPsych, GuidanceResources is Sprint’s free, confidential employee-assistance program. GuidanceResources offers employees online and telephonic support related to a wide variety of topics, including legal and financial issues, relationship support, and health and safety information. Through GuidanceResources, Sprint employees also have access to confidential counseling sessions -- also provided at no charge to the employees.
In addition, GuidanceResources offers free concierge services for employees; GuidanceResources can assist with any number of personal tasks such as ironing out details of an upcoming vacation, finding a local day-care provider that meets an employee's needs, or even just tracking down that elusive new toy an employee wishes to purchase for a child's birthday. All of this is designed to help employees spend their valuable time doing what they want to do.
From May through July 2011, Sprint employees across the country took part in the Sprint Get Fit Challenge, a 12-week fitness program taking advantage of camaraderie, friendly rivalry and social-media tools. The response from employees was overwhelming with more than 14,000 employees (representing over 35 percent of Sprint’s employee base) registering to participate in an exciting challenge among co-workers.
Sprint employees can receive time off for a number of important life situations, such as personal concerns, medical conditions and parental bonding as well as for vacations. Sprint has a formal Paid Time Off policy that permits employees to spend time away from their work duties for vacation, doctors' appointments and other personal needs.
The Sprint Nextel Paid Time Off (PTO) Policy permits employees to spend time away from the office for vacation, doctors' appointments and other personal needs.
PTO Accrual Rates for Full-time Employees
Part-time employees earn PTO based on the number of hours worked. Part-time employees working 30 or more hours per week earn 100 percent of the full-time monthly accrual. Part-time employees working 20 to 29.99 hours per week earn 75 percent of the full-time monthly accrual.
Sprint provides a program to permit and facilitate employees' desire to voluntarily donate their available earned PTO hours to eligible employees who may benefit from additional paid time off. The Internal Revenue Service allows this type of transaction in just two situations -- a "medical emergency" for someone within an employees work group or when the President of the United States has declared a major disaster and employees who live in the disaster area need assistance.
Sprint also supports employees who must take time away from work to participate in military training duty and extended active duty assignments.