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

  1. Getting Personal at Work

    In Defense of Getting Personal at Work

    The cult of "life-work balance" wants us to think that some people have their life and work in perfect equilibrium. (Probably the same mythical people who "have it all.") But it also promotes the idea that "life" and "work" are separate spheres of one's existence. Part of that fallacy is semantic—are we not living "life" while at work?—but the bigger issue is the idea that we have to check our personal lives at the front door of our workplaces. Apparently, we can't bring our whole selves to work. And apparently, our personal lives are irrelevant in the workplace.

  2. New Mothers Have Better Health When Fathers Can Work Flexibly

    New Mothers Have Better Health When Fathers Can Work Flexibly

    New research into heterosexual couples in Sweden shows that flexible policies that help new fathers find life-work compatibility also help new mothers stay healthy. The study, conducted by two researchers at Stanford University and detailed in a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper issued in May, provided evidence that mothers experience fewer physical postpartum health problems and enjoy better mental health when fathers can work flexibly after the birth of their child.

  3. Employees With Diabetes

    People Living With Diabetes Face Greater Flexibility Bias at Work

    As researchers from Denmark note in a new study published in the journal BMC Public Health, the number of people of working age who are living with chronic diseases is increasing, and workplace flexibility can help keep these people in the workforce if their colleagues can acknowledge their need for workday customizations. Unfortunately, as these researchers discovered through an online survey of more than 1,100 Danish workers, employers feel a higher degree of responsibility to afford flexibility to workers with other types of chronic diseases—cancer, heart disease, arthritis, etc.—then they are to workers with diabetes. Additionally, employers "are willing to pay less for flexibility at the workplace for people with diabetes compared to people with chronic disease in general."

  4. You Don't Need to Redesign Your Office

    You Don't Need to Redesign Your Office to Maximize Productivity

    We've already discussed how one size does not fit all when it comes to flexibility. Turns out, the same can be said for workspaces, as the 2019 IWG Global Workspace Survey reveals. "Businesses are also now acknowledging that in the work environment, one size really doesn't fit all, rather providing specific types of environments to different work functions is key to achieving greater productivity," IWG asserts. "For example, this could mean providing creative teams with large meeting rooms to brainstorm in or giving project managers semi-secluded desks to take phone calls and work on tough financial calculations."

  5. Location Flexibility Is a Health Imperative For Pregnant Employees

    Location Flexibility Is a Health Imperative For Pregnant Employees

    A new study revealed sobering statistics about commuting while pregnant. In the study, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Lehigh University found that women who commute by car 50 or more miles each way may be at a "much greater risk" of having low-birth-weight babies and fetuses with intrauterine growth restriction, as The New York Times recently reported. Furthermore, the probabilities of low birth weight and intrauterine growth restriction rise 0.9 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, for every 10 miles of distance added to a lengthy commute.

  6. The Benefits of Not Commuting Every Day

    The Many Benefits of Not Commuting Every Day

    Study after study shows that location variety is directly correlated with increased employee happiness and productivity, but this type of workplace flexibility has other benefits, too. One is environmental. If more people worked from home or a location closer to home, just imagine how much we could reduce our greenhouse gas emissions simply by getting cars off the road and easing the burden of public transit. And as an added benefit, employees who use location variety would also be spared the agony of the daily commute.

  7. Employee Ghosting

    If Your Workers Are Ghosting on You, It's Time for a Flexibility Check

    Ghosting isn't just endemic in the dating world: It's also a problem in the business world. Job applicants drop out of the hiring process without warning. New recruits are no-shows on their first day. Veteran employees simply stop showing up at work. Flexibility, however, could keep employees and applicants feeling engaged and valued—while keeping the lines of communication open.

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