What does flexibility really mean? Is giving in to flexibility opening the door to one big “free for all”?

Employers want to control their work environments—and rightfully so. There’s lots of work to get done, and work does mean work! But productivity levels do not need to suffer at the hand of flexibility. And flexibility does not require a major overhaul of your workplace. At Women@Work we offer employers some basic wisdom on the matter of flexibility: Don’t think outside the box, just redesign it.

Some relatively minor changes to your workplace structure can have a powerful impact on your overall recruiting and retention. Even something as simple as allowing employees to arrive later than 9am so that they can take their children to school can motivate a very qualified prospective employee to accept your offer for a more than full-time position. The key is to institutionalize flexibility just like every other employee benefit so that there are very visible guidelines for employees to follow. Rather than creating a Pandora’s Box of one-off deals with individual employees, employers must establish company-wide flexibility policies.

Women@Work helps companies explore reasonable and practical flexibility strategies that have a minimum of workplace disruption.