Upping the dialogue on workplace flexibility

Cali Williams Yost’s recent post on Fast Company, Envisioning Work+Life Flexibility in 2020 got me thinking. She really hit the nail on the head by suggesting the lexicon move from workplace to work+life flexibility. In theory, as we evolve in the workplace, I envision the human element of the equation becoming even more prominent than “work for the sake of work”. Therefore, the toggle between family (our humanness) and work is a topic that will continue to gain footing in the national dialogue on best business practices.

In her blog post, Cali writes about how far we’ve come and posits about where we’re going on this issue of national debate. She had attended meetings in Washington marking the culmination of the 15-year initiative called Workplace Flexibility 2010, launched by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Check out her article here.

Becoming aware of our “humanness” in business

In our post-modern society, where we’re confronted with the ills of the world on a daily basis on the wave of real time technology, we are by default becoming more aware of our “humanness”. I think the consciousness around workplace flexibility has to evolve, and it appears the Obama Administration is taking a shot at this with the scheduling of workplace flexibility summits across the country.

On a larger scale, these summits certainly “up” the dialogue on legal and business issues of flexibility, but there are plenty of grassroots organizations which have been pining away at such talk for many years. One which I follow closely is the National Association of Mothers’ Centers. They’ve been in this game since 1975, when alleged “work life balance” was deemed a mommy issue.

No longer the case, NAMC (@MothersCenters) has been bringing gender-neutral work life flexibility programs to the public for many years. I attended the organization’s 15th annual conference this year and came away with some great conversations. In this weeks WorkLife Nation episode, I speak with Grace Protos, of the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor about the national dialogue on workplace flexibility. For the next few weeks WorkLife Nation episodes will focus on what came out of this conference.

If you were to speak at one of the national summits, what suggestions would you offer to increase the conversation on solutions to implement workplace flexibility in big business?