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.
Family-friendly workplace Harry Reid created is one to be emulated
Carolyn Gluck, Kate Leone, Serena Hoy, Jessica Lewis, and Angela Arboleda, Las Vegas Sun, Dec 22
In this tribute to Senator Harry Reid, former Reid staffers share their experience working under him while handling difficult pregnancies, the birth of a child, and the never-ending scheduling requirements that parents experience. They write that Reid had a rare ability to foster a working environment that both encouraged and supported working parents; no small feat in a “male-centric culture” of unpredictable and long hours. Recognizing that their experience on the Hill was not the norm, they note that the Family-friendly workplace Harry Reid created is one to be emulated and celebrated, as after his 34 years in Congress, Reid leaves behind a legacy that truly served working families.
Take a Vacation Without Ruining Your Life
The thought of taking time off for a much-needed vacation generally stresses professionals out more than it does excite or relax them. American’s are taking fewer and fewer vacations each year, and in 2015, 55 percent of American’s didn’t use their paid time off. The pile-up of work and the impact on co-workers are two of the main reasons professionals don’t take vacation time. Take a Vacation Without Ruining Your Life highlights several ways in which professionals can get that needed time off without the stress, including communicating effectively with your managers and co-workers, managing your inbox with auto responders and forwarding tools, and easing your way back into your job.
The new look law office: Shrinking space meets modern design
JLL, Dec 16
With the rapid rise of real estate prices across the country, the legal sector, like many other industries, is shrinking the size of its real estate, both in total real estate footprint and in the size of individual offices. The law industry has typically been slow to adapt to new workplace trends; yet, it is quickly realizing that in order to attract and retain top talent, especially that of young professionals, it needs to embrace flexibility. With flexibility comes changes in the design of the workplace, such as increases in a mobile workforce, collaborative and open spaces, and floating workspaces. Read more: The new look law office: Shrinking space meets modern design.
One in five forced to use holiday to attend funerals
Owen Gough, Small Business.co.uk, Dec 12
According to a new study by MetLife, one in five employees in the UK has had to use either unpaid leave or annual leave entitlement in order to attend a funeral or a family member or friend. The study stresses that employers need to take this issue more seriously, with 32 percent of employees revealing that they would consider leaving their job if their employer was unsympathetic of their request to attend a funeral. As bereavement is considered a major contributor to stress by Great Britain’s Health and Safety Executive, MetLife is trying to support employers with toolkits that include information on how to manage the impact that bereavement can have on employees. Learn more: One in five forced to use holiday to attend funerals.
Beyond the unicorns and late nights, Basecamp’s way of doing business
The Human Company Playbook, Dec 7
David Heinemeier Hansson—creator of Ruby on Rails, co-founder of Basecamp, author, and a father of two—has a unique perspective on many of the “angel invested, unicorn seeking businesses” based in Silicon Valley. Hansson believes that these companies have a distorted image of how a successful business should look, and at Basecamp, he strives to foster a workplace that values steady and sustainable growth and personal happiness. Hansson sees through the game rooms, fitness classes, catered lunches, and even nap spaces as a way to make it inconvenient for employees to leave the workplace. Instead, Basecamp offers fully-paid vacations, exercise stipends, a 40-hour workweek (32 in the summer) and other benefits designed to encourage professionals to go home and enjoy time with family and friends. Learn more: Beyond the unicorns and late nights, Basecamp’s way of doing business.
Beyond Inbox Zero
Brigid Schulte, New America, Dec 1
Putting in long hours, answering emails on weekends, and general overwork are not new concepts in the U.S. With employee’s health on the line as a result, many companies have tried to tackle this problem by implementing new policies such as free meditation and on-site yoga classes, family supportive training for managers, and smoking cessation programs. However, the results are mixed and these wellness programs still don’t address the root of the problem: why are people working so much? The answer lies in company culture and understanding how people operate and think in the workplace. Brigid Schulte discusses how some companies are turning to behavioral science to better understand, and hopefully curb, company culture around overworking, in her piece Beyond Inbox Zero.
photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com