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Brie Weiler Reynolds's picture

The twentieth century workplace focused a lot of time and energy into monitoring when and where employees worked. For the time period, it made sense—without email, video conferencing, and other communication tools, it was a lot harder to keep track of staffers who weren’t in the office. The problem is that the twenty-first century workplace doesn’t need to operate this way, and yet is still does.

Being able to see someone sitting in a cubicle, typing on their computer, should no longer be the key measurement of a person working. Instead, professionals should be managed based on the quality of their work, and their ability to meet expectations, deadlines, and goals.

For working parents in particular, flexible work options are hugely beneficial because they help moms and dads be more productive and better able to balance their work and personal responsibilities. Work flexibility policies are compatible with most workplaces, and those policies help working parents in a number of ways. Here’s how.

  1. Flexible work options focus on what matters. Most people’s jobs are based on specific goals and tasks they need to accomplish, and flexible work options make those the focus. Rather than worrying about whether they’ll be able to watch their son’s chorus concert on a Friday afternoon, or stay home when their daughter is sick, parents with flexible work options can stop worrying because their employer focuses on what matters—their results, and not their attendance.
  2. Flexible work policies help moms stay in the workforce, and with better pay. Moms with young children who work in the technology industry are more likely to stay in their jobs, rather than opting out of work, because the industry is so flexible, according to the New York Times. Another benefit of this flexibility is reducing the gender pay gap. As the article notes, “A key reason women in tech fare better in terms of salary is that tech jobs tend to offer more flexibility in terms of where and when people work—the most important element in eliminating the pay gap.” Generally, women make about 70 cents for every dollar a man makes. In the tech industry, that shoots up to 89 cents—a huge difference over the course of a career.
  3. Flexible work policies help parents be better employees and professionals. When you’re able to choose where you work (from home, a coffee shop, the office), when you work (while your kids are at school, at night after they’ve gone to bed, or on a flexible schedule), and how you work (limiting the noise and distraction of the office, setting up a comfortable home office, etc.), you’re much more likely to be a productive employee. Parents have so many competing interests to juggle every day, and flexible work options help them master the juggle.

If you think the ability to work from home, or set your own schedule, or stay in your career part-time would make you a better parent and employee, you agree that flexible work options are the best option for the modern workplace. Take a second to show your support by signing up for 1 Million for Work Flexibility, the first national initiative to encourage flexible work options for all.

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