Where did you work today? You may have put time 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, through apps and even 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 boon.
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 lifesaver for increasingly busy workers as they navigate the responsibilities of caregiving and personal obligations.
It is no surprise that this kind of workplace flexibility, or “workflex” for short, is climbing to the top of the most-wanted list of workplace wellness benefits. 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.
Workflex works best when applied supportively, fairly and consistently across the workforce. Done well, it meets the needs of both employers and employees. But a complex patchwork of state and local laws that dictate how flexible work and paid leave are defined and enforced are currently limiting the workflex options employers can offer. 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:
1. Supports employees equitably in meeting their work/life needs.
2. Provides paid leave to employees;
3. 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.