Video blogging your wishes for the future of work life

At the Families and Work Institute’s Work Life Legacy Awards on June 15, we had the opportunity to pin down a number of the field’s leaders and ask them, “What’s your one wish for the future of work life?” We’ve highlighted a few thought provoking responses below. And we’re curious to hear from you- – what is your wish for the future of work and life integration (besides to have more of it)?

Kathie Lingle, executive director of Alliance for Work-Life Progress at WorldatWork, says she thinks companies will have a “Chief Flexibility Officer.”

Stephanie Miller, Director of Women’s Policy for the US Navy suggested Congress get involved to define work life balance. This would help employers get the incentive to enact good policies.

One common theme emerged: we should not have to continually justify the business case behind flexibility. Maryella Gockel from Ernst and Young said it well: “my wish for the future would be that we would stop asking for the business case…” which, as she says, has been proven over and over. “We just need to move forward.”

Cali Williams Yost hopes flexibility “just becomes the way organizations operate.”

Deloitte’s Stan Smith hopes work life integration becomes something “more natural for executives to understand” – it’s just the way we’re going to do business in the future. He studies Millennials and their attitudes, so he knows the increasing demand behind flexible work practices.

General Belinda Pinckney, who directs the Army’s Diversity office wishes “men and women respect each other” and gender roles continue to shift in favor of 50-50 at home and work.

So these are our wishes, but who will take us there? We asked our guests about leadership.

Ernst and Young CEO Jim Turley offers some great advice on leadership. Watch here:

Finally, Ted Childs sums it up nicely: leadership is the relentless pursuit of vision. We need to be relentless about the pursuit of our vision for a better working America.

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10 Responses to Video blogging your wishes for the future of work life

  1. This is great content for discussion, Ellen! Just like 3M offers employees a certain percent of their time to work on other project ideas to help the company, I’d hope that the future allows companies to give moms the chance to spend a percent of their time working on other areas of their lives that could prove supportive/inspirational for their current role.

  2. ROWE is what I want to see. Everything I have encounted to date in my 30 years of work is that I feel like a child that is not trusted to get my work done unless I am seen in a chair, in the office. Funny thing is, my current employer has mostly virtual meetings because of the various locations around the US. I can sit on a phone and computer at home! Would also save on my 45 minute (1way) communte!

    Great conversations, but the change seems to be slow in coming, sometimes it feels like we are going backward!

  3. I agree with Deb. I think ROWE is where we need to be. I’ve been hired with the responsibility to do my job…let me do it in the best fashion that fits for my life. You will have the results you need and a much happier employee and family.

    Flexible work plans are just a baby step…but my flexible work option is no where near “flexible” for the amount of forms that need to be filled out and the very specific hours that need to be clocked. My life isn’t that consistant. How can I force my work time, creativeness, and productive thinking to a schedule? My best thinking and work doesn’t run an 8-5 timeclock.

  4. I couldn’t agree more with ROWE. My favorite example to use is comparing college to the traditional work world.

    In college, we were given tasks, goals, etc and told to complete them by a given date. We had CONTROL over when we worked and how we worked as long as we produced results. It was up to us.

    Compare this to the traditional work environment where we are told we have to be in the office from 8-5 to work. Most environments then reward employees who stay late b/c this is the only measure of work. Employees do not have an incentive to perform more efficiently. What’s the point when you are forced to be in the office anyway? The wrong outcome is being driven in the traditional work environment.

    In college, we are rewarded solely on results which are based on predetermined tasks. Then, we go in the working world and everything is backwards. We are no longer in control of our work. Most of us are not trusted to get our jobs done and must adhere to the 8-5 standard.

    Work/ life balance should be up to each person. Not company standards or anyone else’s standards. I should be in charge of my life AND WORK. Let me decide what and when to complete my job. Let me decide how to spend my life (work and personal). You can then judge me on my work output, not time spent.

  5. Is the ROWE model the only alternative? Surely not. Or are you using ROWE as a symbol for a work environment that allows people to work on project-based scheduling and a self-controlled timeline?

  6. I wish that all employers would allow each person to be free to work wherever they want, whenever they want, as long as the work gets done. This would allow each person to have the freedom to fit their work and personal life into what makes the most sense for their family.

  7. @ Morra – ROWE may not be the only alternative, but I cannot see any argument against it, given employees are based on predetermined, clearly defined measures of performance.

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