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Workplaces are catching up to the future. Meet the companies and individuals who are making it happen.

  1. Inflexibility Is Killing Your Next Big Idea

    Is Inflexibility Killing Your "Next Big Idea"?

    "Excellence and innovation are arguably the foundation of our greatest contributions.” Those are the words of Dr. Dawna Ballard, a professor of chronemics at the University of Texas at Austin. According to Dr. Ballard, companies today are thinking about productivity all wrong, and as a result, are struggling to create that elusive “Next Big Idea.” And while most companies realize something needs to change, they’re not sure what.

  2. Trailing Spouses

    Trailing Partners in Academia Face Unique Career Challenges

    Being the partner of an academic is not too dissimilar from being a military spouse. Both of these groups must often follow their significant others to unfamiliar locations, which can result in fewer suitable employment opportunities. Due to lack of access to flexibility, specifically location variety and location independence, these folks are often forced to “opt down” into lower paying, less challenging positions, or leave the workforce entirely.

  3. Flex Doesn't Replace Vacation

    Flexibility Doesn't Replace Vacation Time

    A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of toasting the end of summer with a family vacation to the beach. I answered the occasional work email, but I didn't feel chained to my inbox. I didn't feel pressure to check my Slack messages (although I did like being able to read the fun updates and articles my team posted). Even as the co-CEO of a startup, I was able to disconnect. I didn’t need to be "always on." That's a credit to my hardworking coworkers, but it's also a credit to the unique culture we’ve built as a company.

  4. Pretending to Be Busy

    Pretending to Be Busy Is a Problem That's Hurting Employees and Employers Alike

    We’ve all done it before: quickly opening a spreadsheet when the boss walks by so you look busy, or staying late and staring blankly at the screen even though your energy is tapped out. Pretending to be busy has become an art form, with Lifehacker and BuzzFeed providing tongue-in-cheek recommendations for best practices. It's a status symbol, with The Cut breaking down why our society reveres "busyness." And it's even a phenomenon that has inspired its own category of Giphy GIFs. But pretending to be busy when you’re actually not—and being rewarded for it—is indicative of a much bigger cultural problem with far reaching consequences for individuals and businesses alike.

  5. Parenting Is More Than Caregiving

    The Conversation About Caregiving and Work Must Be More Inclusive

    Even here in the 21st century, a gender-based stereotype persists: Men are still heralded as the chief breadwinners, while women are still expected to hold down the domestic front. These societal norms negate the experiences of female breadwinners and male homemakers, whose proportions are rising in both the paid and unpaid workforces. But they also lead people to think the term "caregiver" is interchangeable with "parent" or "homemaker."

  6. Respect Employees

    Show Your Employees You Respect Them By Honoring Their Flex Needs

    After decades and even centuries of rigid workday structures—punching the clock at the same times, reporting to the same location every weekday—structured flexibility might seem unnatural at first. But flexibility actually optimizes employee productivity and makes employees feel like respected and trustworthy members of the organization. Even better, that perception can, in turn, boost employee performance and morale even higher.

  7. Salary and Employee Retention

    Salary Isn't the Only Way to Tackle Employee Retention...

    Pay raises are an obvious boon to employee retention, but what happens when a company can't afford to pay its employees more? How can they keep their key talent in place, especially when employee turnover can cost a company 33 percent of a worker's annual salary? One solution: These companies can make sure their employees’ flexibility needs are being met.

  8. Part-Time and Ambition

    PartTime Flexibility Doesn't Mean a Lack of Ambition

    For some reason, our corporate culture continues to falsely conflate a part-time schedule with a lack of ambition. But many PartTime workers are just as passionate about their work as their full-time peers—and just as capable as climbing the career ladder. Unfortunately, a bias against flexible policies can hold them back from getting access to the flexibility they need—and this can be a detriment to employees and employers alike.

  9. Pet Leave

    "Paw-ternity Leave" Is a Thing—And It's Crucial For Talent Retention

    Minneapolis marketing agency Nina Hale made headlines this month for its "fur-ternity leave" policy, which allows employees to work from home for a week after they welcome a new dog or cat. "This is kind of a no-brainer," Allison McMenimen, a vice president at the company, told The New York Times of the policy. "The idea of offering benefits that just help keep employees at the office, that's over."

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