Tory Johnson, CEO of Women for Hire and Good Morning America Workplace Correspondent just sent over a special request for Phoenix-based businesses:
"Right now we’re looking for women in the Phoenix area to participate in a special GMA segment focused on workplace flexibility. Specifically, we’re looking for women who work fulltime and are in great need of some form of flexibility, but don’t have such benefits and perks with their current employer. Instead of driving yourself crazy or looking for a new position, we want to help you by approaching the top decision makers at your company with a challenge to step up to the plate and offer some form of flexibility to employees. The company would have the opportunity to receive exposure on national television if it’s willing to accept our challenge of adapting its policies to the new realities of the American workforce. We’re NOT looking to sabotage a company; quite the contrary. We’re looking to partner with that company to help develop programs and benefits that work for the company and its employees while staying true to the core business needs as well as the realities of today’s workforce.
In addition, we’re looking for companies of all sizes — at least 25 employees — that have challenges with recruitment or retention which may be due to their rigid work schedules. We’d like to partner with such employers on simple ways to improve their retention by implementing basic flexible work options.
In both cases, we’d work with the employer and employees in advance — starting ASAP — to get to know the needs and culture, and we’d work together to prepare a solution that would be broadcast live from Phoenix at the end of the month.
If this is you or someone you know — exclusively in the Phoenix area — please contact us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put Phoenix in the subject line."
I firmly believe what I said in point 8 of my Open Letter to CXO’s rant awhile back:
Focus on the work people do, not how or when they do it. Some positions require people to be at their desk at an appointed hour to answer customer calls or to participate in live meetings. But others can do their work from home, early in the morning, late in the evening or dialing in from the local Starbucks. The turnover magnet you have for losing great employees is not the competitor down the street, it is the idea of freedom and flexibility for the self-employed. Your employees have different biorhythms and working styles and activities going on in their lives. If you provide flexible work options and don’t make people sit unnecessarily at their desk, you will keep some great employees who would otherwise leave. A manager who is afraid to offer telecommuting to her employees because she thinks they will slack off is just showing her own weakness. Great managers build accountability into flexible work plans and manage performance aggressively.
So if you are not quite ready to leave your job behind, or find you might not be cut out for entrepreneurship and would rather make your current situation more bearable, I encourage you to get this ball rolling and twist the arm of a senior manager at your Phoenix-based company to jump at this story. Have fun with it! Our love for reality TV could extend to your workplace, and who knows what could happen as a result. If you end up making people mad and getting fired, you will have a great story for the launch of your new business.
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Update: When How and Where Matters
Last week I posted a piece on telecommuting, in which I shared a bit of my own inconsistency on the subject, in Any Time, Any Place. I wrote about how telecommuting makes long-term sense for the human race, but not