According to the smart folks at Working Mother today is National Flex Day. Nice! At Path Forward we are fans of flexibility. In my life, flexibility has been the key to making my work/life work. After my daughter was born almost nine years ago (!!), I worked from home three days per week. I also worked part-time for a bit. I kept the three-days at home schedule, working full-time, until my second child started preschool. That was a total of five years, during which time I was promoted twice. With my son in preschool I went back to working in the office five days per week — which is an important detail to note. Flex arrangements are often needed for a period of time, then those needs change over time. Nowadays I work in the office most days — and at home when family needs arise — and on the road or in the air when business travel needs arises. I flex when Path Forward needs me to, and Path Forward flexes when I need it to. And some days I do both. Yesterday was a perfect example — I left the office in the afternoon to meet my husband at our son’s annual check-up and then took a call from home at 7pm after family dinner was done.
It’s easy to see how I have benefited from flexible work arrangements. But how does my organization? The Working Mother Research Institute offers some interesting answers to that question. They found that women who are allowed to work flexibly are more likely to say they have a say over their schedule and that they have better work/life balance. But, interestingly, they are also more likely to say they feel their opinions count at work and they are more satisfied with their compensation! And flextime isn’t just for mothers. Men who have flex options are more satisfied at work, too. More satisfied and happier employees are more engaged, more loyal and more productive.
That’s a lot to be celebrating! Happy National Flex Day!