From the CEO
Where did you work today? You may have put ime in at the office, but you also may have
tackled tasks on a plane, in a coffee shop, at home
and even on vacation.
Advances in technology have made what was once
unimaginable now routine. Collaboration can happen around a conference table or in virtual rooms,
and employees can solve problems in real time from
thousands of miles away. For employers, the “
anytime, anywhere” workplace has been a productivity
The borderless workplace has also empowered many employees. The ability to operate from
home, to shift or compress schedules, and to make
other flexible work arrangements has been a life-saver for increasingly busy workers as they navigate the responsibilities of caregiving and personal
It is no surprise that this kind of workplace flex-
ibility, or “workflex” for short, is climbing to the top
of the most-wanted list of workplace wellness bene-
fits, a trend we explore in this month’s HR Magazine
feature “Wellness Blows Up.”
Workflex works best when applied supportively,
By Henry G. Jackson
On Workflex and Wellness
fairly and consistently across the workforce. Done
well, it meets the needs of both employers and
employees. Company leaders can attract and retain
the talent to power their enterprises, and employees—from new parents to caregivers for aging parents, and from Millennials to Baby Boomers—can
achieve work/life well-being. Everyone wins.
Unfortunately, it does not always turn out that
Recently, we’ve seen some companies pull back
telework and other flexible work options in the name
of collaboration. However, it takes more than putting
people in a room together to get the magic that can
happen through teamwork. Other companies fail to
offer workflex options at all—or at least fail to offer
them to every employee.
Moreover, a complex patchwork of state and local
laws dictating how flexible work and paid leave are
defined and enforced for various positions limit the
options employers can offer. Not surprisingly, policy-makers have responded with proposals for one-size-fits-all government mandates, which do not consider
diverse work environments and the wide variety of
industries and organization sizes.
These complications aside, today’s workplace and
workforce demand flexibility.
That’s why the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has been working with members of
Congress to carefully develop a workflex legislative
solution that does three things: supports employees in
meeting their work/life needs; provides paid leave to
employees; and gives certainty, predictability and stability to employers.
Watch for details from SHRM about the Workplace in the 21st Century Act and next steps toward
enacting this important legislation. The effort is one
more way your professional Society is shaping the
modern workplace to be more innovative, competitive and fair.
Workflex can work for all. I dare say that, in
today’s world of work, it must.