At 1MFWF, we always want to highlight work that’s happening around the country and across the globe pertaining to work flexibility. While our own blog features regular contributions from experts on this topic, we also keep an eye out for great articles elsewhere on the web. Here are some recent items not to miss.
IBM, remote-work pioneer, is calling thousands of employees back to the office
Sarah Kessler, Quartz, Mar 21
Remote work pioneer IBM is facing some drastic changes in light of the hiring of its new Chief Marketing Officer, Michelle Peluso (former CEO of the fashion startup Gilt). As far back as the 1980s, IBM was embracing remote work through “remote terminals” in employees homes, and by 2009, the company had 40 percent of its workforce working remotely. Peluso has limited her marketing team to working in one of six different cities around the US. Employees who used to work from home are now required to commute, move if necessary, or find a new job. Read more about this massive change: IBM, remote-work pioneer, is calling thousands of employees back to the office.
Why all new parents need leave: He took unpaid leave to be with his newborn and his colleagues taunted him
Jef Beckley, Washington Post, Mar 20
Rock quarry worker Jef Beckley took three months of unpaid leave when his daughter was born. His colleagues and boss were skeptical that his leave was anything other than a vacation, and taunted him. Jef shares his experience in this piece, citing research that shows he’s far from unique. A Canadian study from 2013 revealed that caregiving fathers report the highest rates of mistreatment in the workplace, with repeated incidents of humiliation and exclusion for “defying traditional gender paradigms.” It’s therefore no surprise that 76 percent of fathers return to work within a week of having a child, while 96 percent return after just two weeks. Jef also bemoans the fact that fathers are reluctant to use work flexibility, for fear of being penalized. Read more: Why all new parents need leave: He took unpaid leave to be with his newborn and his colleagues taunted him
Kelly Family Press Release on the ‘BBC Dad’ Viral Video
Robert Kelly, Robert Kelly—Asian Security Blog, Mar 19
Robert Kelly and his family had no idea that their family blooper would go on to make headlines and spread like rapid wildfire across the interwebs. In a post on his blog, Kelly Family Press Release on the ‘BBC Dad’ Viral Video, Kelly shares his thoughts on the experience, noting that he also did so with the Wall Street Journal for American audiences, the BBC for the global audience, and with the Korean media for their local audience. Kelly clarifies several important aspects of the video, including the fact that the event was not staged; that he was, in fact, wearing pants and chose not to stand in hopes of salvaging the interview; and that they as a family have no comment on the “many social analyses of the video” and simply view it as a “very public family blooper.”
Workplace design alone cannot motivate us or make us happy at work
Mark Eltringham, Workplace Insight, Mar 15
It can be tempting to assume that with just the right workplace design, emplyees will be happy, but many factors come into play when it comes to happiness and the workplace. In fact, workers are more likely to be happy in a job they love even in poor surroundings than at a job they hate in a fancy office. Similarly, if a worker is unhappy at work because of, say, work/life conflict, then improving the workplace environment won’t help. Read more: Workplace design alone cannot motivate us or make us happy at work.
How Will We Commute to the Workplace of the Future?
Jodi Williams and Joelle Jach, WorkDesign Magazine, Mar 9
In the final segment of the three part series on the workplace of the future, How Will We Commute to the Workplace of the Future?, discusses the future of commuting and transportation options and how these relate to workplace location. Examining the changes to come in the next 10-25 years, this article suggests an increase in bicycle commuting, improvements in virtual participation and communication technologies, and perhaps even creating new parking garages to accommodate flying cars.
Three-quarters of women in tech think workplace flexibility is key to retention
Clare McDonald, ComputerWeekly.com, Mar 1
Recent research released by the Robert Walters recruitment firm found that nearly 80 percent of women in tech believe that offering flexible work arrangements increases rates of employee retention. Similarly, 70 percent of all IT professionals, both men and women, agree that workplace flexibility, specifically allowing employees to work from home or be away from the office, encourages staff to stay with a company for longer periods of time. Offering greater flexibility options could be the key to improving the IT industry, as it’s currently experiencing a “skills gap” with the prediction that by 2020, nearly 800,000 IT roles will be unfilled. Read more about the IT staffing crisis and what employers can do to change this: Three-quarters of women in tech think workplace flexibility is key to retention.
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