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.

USDA Announces $1.4 Billion in Proactive Savings through Blueprint for Stronger Service
Office of Communications, USDA News Release, May 27
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a 1MFWF supporter, has just released a statement about their significant cost reductions without loss of services. Work flexibility, including telework, is known to help businesses reduce costs, and the USDA announcement confirms this strong business advantage: the USDA has saved $18 million by eliminating the need for transit subsidies, and moreover, “Telework helps USDA recognize increased productivity, greater operating efficiencies and cost reductions.” Read more about their proactive savings plan, including through telework: USDA Announces $1.4 Billion in Proactive Savings through Blueprint for Stronger Service.

The Problem with Part-Time Work Is That It’s Rarely Part-Time
Laura Vanderkam, Harvard Business Review, May 27
Many working mothers look to part-time employment to keep them in the workforce while still allowing for some flexibility in their schedule. But according to author and researcher Laura Vanderkam, many part-time positions end up requiring as many hours as their full-time counterparts. Vanderkam suggests that workers who are thinking of going part-time may find a better solution to be full-time positions that offer flexibility, like split shifts or flexible hours. Read more: The Problem with Part-Time Work Is That It’s Rarely Part-Time.

When Family-Friendly Policies Backfire
Claire Cain Miller, The New York Times, May 26
Family-friendly policies are designed to help parents balance their careers and personal responsibilities. However, many family-friendly policies are having unintended negative consequences, including lower mobility and pay for working mothers. All women—mothers or not—may be passed over for raises or hiring due to employer fears about their seeking benefits or lengthy time off. However, gender neutral policies seen in locations like Sweden have encouraged both men and women to utilize their family policies without penalizing either. Learn more about the impact family-friendly policies are having on women around the globe: When Family-Friendly Policies Backfire.

How to Build a Business That Fits Your Lifestyle
Barbara Haislip, The Wall Street Journal, May 26
More and more entrepreneurs are prioritizing lifestyle over financing and marketing in their business plans. Choosing to build businesses around their lives, instead of lives around their businesses, has opened the doors for innovative working arrangements and locations. Barbara Haislip highlights successful entrepreneurs who are making business work for them, from homeschooling their children to traveling the world. For more insight on these successful flexible enterprises, check out How to Build a Business That Fits Your Lifestyle.

Top female lawyers and executives find that part-time isn’t a career killer
Claire Bushey, Crain’s Chicago Business, May 23
Professional women who choose to reduce their hours to part-time can still succeed in their careers and professional development, provided they have a strong mentor and work within a supportive organizational culture. Claire Bushey shares success stories of lawyers, accountants, and consultants who have reached the top in their careers after breaks and periods of reduced hours. Read more about women who took their part-time jobs to the top: Top female lawyers and executives find that part-time isn’t a career killer.

photo credit: istockphoto.com