Why Not Flexible Work?
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Would your family’s well-being be improved if you or your spouse had workplace flexibility? Today marks the third annual National Flex Day, started by Working Mother to encourage employers to offer more work flexibility. Once seen as a tool for working moms, work flexibility is now being sought after by many other employees, from millennials seeking more work-life balance to those stricken by cancer to pregnant moms with morning sickness, to others who just see the benefits and ask, “Why not?”
A national movement — 1 Million for Work Flexibility — has emerged to support work flexibility as a business tool that improves the bottom line while making workers happier and more productive.“We’re advocating for the widespread adoption of work flexibility — because we believe that work flex not only improves employee well-being but is also a business imperative,” says Emma Plumb, director of 1 Million for Work Flexibility. “Work flex contributes to higher productivity, disaster preparedness, and increased retention and employee engagement.”
Flex work comes in many forms from flexible schedules, job sharing and part-time employment, to telecommuting and freelance contracts. Although it’s often seen as a perk for employees, advocates says its benefits flow back to both employers and employees. People who can control their work environment are more positively engaged in work and life, healthier, save time, are less stressed and have healthier relationships, they say. In short, they are happier.
Employers see financial savings, increased productivity, lower turnover, reduced absences and a better corporate culture, advocates say. Snow days and spring days make no difference when you’re telecommuting, and it is also better for the environment to have fewer cars on the road.
However, flex work is not the norm for working America, and employees must often make hard choices and come up with their own creative solutions to keep their home and work lives in balance. Right here in the Triangle, working mothers have beaten their own path to happiness for their families. In our series on working mothers, read about two women running a unique daycare where parents can work in the building while their kids learn and play. Discover how a single mother, dentist and business owner in Raleigh manages to keep her staff and daughter happy. Learn how a personal trainer — currently separated —launched a business, trains moms and looks after her daughter.
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