Speaking at North­eastern University’s CEO Break­fast, Murray Martin, CEO of Pitney Bowes, said employees who are offered greater flex­i­bility become more engaged with their jobs, more pro­duc­tive and healthier.

Per­son­ally, I don’t hide the fact that my family is impor­tant to me,” said Murray Martin, chief exec­u­tive officer of Pitney Bowes Inc. “I don’t work on weekends.”

Nor does the CEO expect employees at the $6.3 bil­lion com­pany to always be at the beck and call of the office, he said.

Speaking at North­eastern University’s CEO Break­fast Nov. 12 at the Four Sea­sons Hotel, Martin described the changing atti­tudes and require­ments for flex­i­bility of today’s work­force, a group com­prised of four gen­er­a­tions: vet­erans, baby boomers (1946–1964), Gen­er­a­tion X (1965–1977) and Gen­er­a­tion Y (1978-).

As cor­po­ra­tions pre­pare for a dearth in a tal­ented work­force, some man­agers are heeding a worker ideal that cuts across all gen­er­a­tions: better work/​life bal­ance, he said.

For the vet­eran gen­er­a­tion, they figure they’ve worked hard and have earned the right for more flex­i­bility. Baby boomers are looking for more flex­i­bility and struc­ture to their work­days, and are rethinking their pre­vi­ously held ‘live to work’ phi­los­ophy. The Gen X employee works to live, and Gen Y just assumes there is flex­i­bility. These workers want to make a dif­fer­ence in the world and strive to strike a bal­ance between their work and external lives,” Martin said.

Com­pa­nies wishing to attract and retain tal­ented employees would be well-​​served to recon­sider old-​​fashioned ideals that limit employee flex­i­bility, he said. Acknowl­edging a trend that finds increasing num­bers of workers tied to the office after hours through tech­no­log­ical devices such as e-​​mail and Black­ber­ries, Martin said studies have shown the over-​​worked employee is prone to ill­ness, and on-​​the-​​job unhappiness.

The cor­po­rate response is one that doesn’t really want to hear it,” Martin said. “But then (these cor­po­ra­tions) can’t under­stand why they’re losing their best talent.”

At Pitney Bowes, the provider of mail pro­cessing equip­ment and inte­grated mail solu­tions, it has been dis­cov­ered that employees who are offered greater flex­i­bility become more engaged with their jobs, more pro­duc­tive and healthier, he said.

And that good­will goes a long way toward sta­bility in the work­force, he added.

A com­pany that offers flex­i­bility enhances its own ability to com­pete for the best skilled employees,” Martin said.

Bill Bacic, New Eng­land man­aging partner of Deloitte and a member of the board of North­eastern Over­seers, intro­duced Martin.