Flexible Work Arrangements

Earlier this year Yahoo! said “Sayonara!” to its work-from-home options. Shortly after, Best Buy followed suit and deep-sixed their flexible work opportunities. While big names like these make headlines by giving up on flex arrangements, we hear more and more about the demand for them. It’s no wonder organizations are wondering whether these measures are right for their company. So how can they tell?

To help workplaces answer this question, Caterina Sanders led a discussion on flexible arrangements at the annual Your Workplace Conference. Sanders is Vice-President of Habanero Consulting Group in Vancouver, B.C., an award-winning organization for being one of the best places to work. It ranked #1 on The Globe and Mail “Best Workplaces in Canada” list for 2013.

When Sanders asked conference attendees to state what a workplace needs to successfully implement a flexible work arrangement, their answers ranged from “trust” to “openness” to “technology.” Once everyone was satisfied with the list, she pointed out, “No one said we need awesome policies!” And yet it is the policies that usually take our time and create the stumbling blocks. To implement a successful and sustainable flexible work program, it is essential to go beyond the policies and procedures manual.

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