This week, First Lady Obama held the first ever Workplace Flexibility Forum at the White House - with an array of speakers and corporate leadership in attendance, it is clear that there is a great deal of steam building behind this movement. If you have been following the BetterBlog and/or BetterWorld for long, you know that we have been advocating the same workplace change (less commuting, travel, more flexibility, less building/space specific activity) through our BetterWork framework, which we developed in concert with the Bainbridge Graduate Institute in 2008/2009.
Some excerpts from President Obama’s closing remarks to the group: “Plenty of workers — both women and men — wish they could go back to school so they can beef up their skills and advance their careers. And there are plenty of communities that desperately need the new jobs we can create when we embrace teleworking and mobile workplaces.
And as for how this issue affects companies’ bottom lines, a report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers that we’re releasing today found that companies with flexible work arrangements can actually have lower turnover and absenteeism, and higher productivity, and healthier workers.
So let’s be clear: Workplace flexibility isn’t just a women’s issue. It’s an issue that affects the well-being of our families and the success of our businesses. It affects the strength of our economy — whether we’ll create the workplaces and jobs of the future we need to compete in today’s global economy.
And ultimately, it reflects our priorities as a society — our belief that no matter what each of us does for a living, caring for our loved ones and raising the next generation is the single most important job that we have. I think it’s time we started making that job a little easier for folks.
Many of you here represent companies and workplaces that are already doing just that — embracing telecommuting, flextime, compressed work weeks, job sharing, flexible start and end times, and helping your employees generally find quality childcare and eldercare. And if you’re doing this not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because you’ve found that what’s good for your workers and is good for your families can be good for your bottom lines and your shareholders as well, then you need to spread the word.”
Bravo President and First Lady Obama, this is exactly the kind of public advocacy that we need if work is going to change - - this is what we are all about at BetterWorld, helping to ignite a revolution in how we work in this country and beyond. It was great to celebrate with the team from BGI who helped us develop the BetterWork framework, as the emails went around this week after the forum was held, another important source of validation for the great work that our team did last year. For more information on BetterWork: www.BetterWorkToday.com
Let’s change work today!