Monday, April 12, 2010

Flexibility at Work, at School, and in the Community

A recent study found no evidence that workplace flexibility harmed productivity.


The same study, commissioned by the White House, states the following:

  • Nearly one-third of workers consider work-life balance and flexibility to be the most important factor in considering job offers.
  • Nearly two-thirds of HR managers cite family-supportive policies and flexible hours as the single most important factor in attracting and retaining employees.
  • Flexible workplace practices reduce turnover rates, enhance recruitment efforts, reduce absenteeism, improve employee health, and increase productivity.

It’s not just the workplace that can benefit from providing flexibility. Schools can benefit from providing flexibility to parent-volunteers and community-sponsored venues can benefit from providing flexibility to patrons.

The weekly e-newsletters from my kid's school invited “new faces” to the PTSO meeting on Monday at 9:30 a.m. and the community council meeting at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

News Flash: sometimes parents who are working during the day have the best connections for the fundraisers and other such activities.

For example, I am a person who has considerable influence at my place of employment for donating to charitable and community events. Furthermore, in my professional network I am acquainted with other decision makers at local businesses. I could be a valuable part of the PTSO-fundraising team. Can't make it to the meetings though...I'm at the office.

More examples of inflexibility include swimming lessons at the public pool and story hour at the public library that are only offered during the day. These are facilities/events are funded by public tax dollars, but available only to people who can conform to their schedules.

I could go on...but I'll get to the point.

Schools and charities could raise more money by tapping into the resources of working parents. Furthermore, community events/venues would produce higher revenues by conforming to the schedules of people who find themselves in the workplace during the day.

Most important of all, flexibility allows kids and their parents to spend more quality time together. Time strengthens families, and strong families strengthen communities.

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