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In Australia, this workplace type of policy (for employees with school aged or younger children) became legislation in 2009. We have one the most robust economies in the western world, so we must be doing something right! Studies have indicated that this model works well for both employee and employer. If you want to attract talent as one of your most important resources, then the competitive landscape will dictate that the workplace that offers a flexible work schedule is going to be more attractive to the one that doesn't. In the 20+ years I have been working, I have experienced both regimented/standard non flexible working practices and later, in the public sector, I have worked under a flexible policy, and I know which one I prefer! Critics of this type of policy fail to understand the benefits to their bottom line - a happy, respected employee (i.e. one with work/life balance) is a productive one. I feel dismayed when large corporations like Yahoo make blanket policies changes such as the recent banning of working from home arrangements as it sends the wrong message to other employers that this is considered to be best practice. It's a retro approach and if absenteeism and productivity is an issue, then it should be addressed as an entirely separate issue, rather than a blanket banning that hurts the individuals who need it most. David Chiu's initiative is to be commended and applauded, because the rights of individuals to be able to care for their family should be mandated in legislation, so that employees are enabled and protected when they request flexibility in how they manage their work commitments.
I think this would a great thing. Unfortuantely we live in a place where we decide if we want to have kids or not based on where we are in our career. How awful is that? Surely we can continue to climb the corporate ladder without having to sacrifice our desire for family. I say, go for it. Happy workers are productive workers.
Me (33) - DH (39) - DS (6) - DS (3months)
I blog: allthingsandlife.blogspot.com