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Work Life Balance

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This 2009 Fast Company Blog article refers to a study indicating workers value flexibility in how, when and where they work. The study showed 98% of respondents had some form of work life flexibility, 81% said their personal flexibility was the same or increased in the previous year, and 85% said opportunities and their personal use would either stay the same or increase. They said they would take advantage of work life flexibility, but there were challenges or reasons it was not used.

Also, 100 CFO's were surveyed and said only 13 of their organizations had a formal approach toward flexibility. The other 87 had no formal approach or the senior leadership viewed flexibility as a perk or benefit used to reward top performers.

At first I dismissed the idea of flexibility for the associates working in my department. I directly supervise 11 associates and indirectly supervise up to 40 during a shift at a hotel technical help desk. I also have a hand in the workforce management including scheduling and schedule compliance in relation to adherence to a break schedule to maintain staffing levels. Our philosophy has become "we need everyone to take their breaks on time so we can predict and maintain staffing levels that contribute to our service goals". Once I looked at this objectively, it became obvious that this was not a very flexible position.

Since we also participate in quarterly employment engagement surveys that ask associates to rate their supervisor, manager and senior management on areas including work life balance which have returned less than acceptable ratings, it appears we should focus on this area.

We recently began allowing a handful of associates to work from home full-time weekdays during day-shift hours. If this pilot program is successful, we will expand the hours of coverage and allow more associates to work from home full-time. This also allowed us to retain three exceptional associates who needed to relocate out of state due to family issues or a spouse that transferred for their employer. These associates would have left the company in favor of their families had this not been an option.


Yost, Cali (May 3, 2009). Time to move from "If" flex, to "Why" and "How" flex...from Fast Company web site: http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/cali-yost/worklife-fit-not-balance/time-move-if-flex-why-and-how-flex



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