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 news items not to miss, including how employers must embrace the norm of work flexibility in the “Generation Flex” climate.
World Economic Forum, Dan Schawbel
Employers looking to attract more flexible workers might be well-advised to consider the open-floor office plan, if they haven’t already. Some 80% of U.S. offices now have an open-floor arrangement with “minimal or no division between desks.” However, one big disadvantage, according to a Harvard study, is that workers actually spend 73% less time in face-to-face interactions. An advantage, by contrast, is that younger workers feel they work better with the increased noise and activity of an open floor plan.
New York Times, Shonagh Rae
Key elements in providing employees with a better workplace include greater flexibility and autonomy, especially for working mothers with young children, according to participants in a summit about improving the work environment. Employers also need clear policies about when it’s acceptable to work from home. Other suggestions included enlisting men as allies in conversations about topics like gender equity, and making family leave policies truly universal.
The Globe and Mail, Wane Berger
The Canada-based author of this article cites a study in that country showing that 85% of professionals would decline any job offers that didn’t include flexible work options. The study confirms a workplace shift in Canada, indicating that employers that resist work flexibility may be losing out on hiring top workers and staying competitive in their industries. Acknowledging the demise of the traditional 40-hour workweek is a first step in embracing workplace changes.
Crain’s Chicago Business, Claire Bushey
Flexible scheduling is a staple in many industries, benefiting both workers and employees. Research shows that 17% of U.S. workers have variable schedules in sectors including retail, agriculture, healthcare, transportation, and the restaurant industry. In Chicago, a proposed ordinance that would require companies to post work schedules two weeks in advance has some employers worried that the restrictions will cut into profits and scheduling autonomy. Proponents say workers would benefit by having more predictable paychecks and better control over child care and transportation.
CALmatters, Allan Zarenberg
The California legislature must act to set regulations addressing the growing numbers of freelancers and independent contractors in the state’s gig economy. The state needs to come up with new work models that protect gig workers while helping them maintain work flexibility. The current California laws, based on 20th-century work models, should be updated to incorporate changes brought on by technology in today’s “networked, innovative, on-demand economy.”
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