Imagine that your company was hiring for one of its most crucial positions. What if the best employee for the job:

* Could only work 25 hours a week?

* Lived in Des Moines?

* Spent winters in Florida?

* Had an elderly parent at home?

Would you opt for second best? Or would you make it work?

Those are the tough but tactical questions being asked of benefits professionals in a YouTube video produced by Life Meets Work, a workforce consultancy that helps organizations create flexible workplaces that maximize productivity and attract top talent. LMW's clients include Sara Lee, McDonald's and the Department of Labor.

Last year, LMW partnered with Corporate Voices for Working Families to launch an awareness campaign on the positive business and employee benefits of workplace flexibility.

The campaign, launched at the White House at the first-ever Forum on Workplace Flexibility, will encourage businesses to become "Business Champions" for flexibility by signing a Statement of Support for Expanding Workplace Flexibility and expressing support for flexibility principles in their own organizations and in the wider business community.

"Life Meets Work is excited to be a part of the national workplace flexibility challenge," says Kyra Cavanaugh, LMW president, urging employers to "move beyond policy to make flex a living, breathing part of their culture. This is a critical step to destigmatizing work-life as a soft, gender-specific issue and moving it to the realm of critical business strategy where it belongs."

Employers interested in joining the campaign can sign the Statement of Support for Expanding Workplace Flexibility, committing to four principles:

1. Actively communicate the business imperative for workplace flexibility.

2. Expand flexibility within their own organizations as a tool to advance business results.

3. Support managers in strengthening skills for managing flexibility.

4. Build workplaces in which flexibility is broadly and equitably implemented and available to employees at every level.

 

Self-assessment questionnaire for employees

Answering the following questions may help your employees determine whether they are prepared to complete a flexible work arrangement request.

* Can you demonstrate that you have taken responsibility and ownership of your work-life issues?* Can you clearly define your personal/family needs objectively?

* Can you identify potential work problems or obstacles related to your request and think of ways to overcome them?

* Can you exhibit as much flexibility as you are asking of your management, fellow staff members and the management team at your company?

* Can you develop a reasonable plan for completing your work during a flexible work arrangement?* Can you be actively involved in each step of the decision-making process?

For the full list of questions, visit the Alliance for Work-Life Progress website at www.awlp.org and download the free Flexible Work Arrangement Self Assessment Questionnaire.

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