Raise Your Hand If You Want More Work Flexibility!
I have worked from home—primarily—since my 14-year-old was a baby. The fact that I've always been available, even if I needed a babysitter and a closed office door, has been an important part of my relationship with my kids. I've been able to attend school events. My work didn’t suffer when a child was home sick. And these days, I’m there to make sure my teenagers aren’t getting into trouble after school. I am very attached to my flexible job. It allows me to be good at both parenting and work. In fact, I believe strongly that more people should have access to flexible work if they want it. This would go a long way toward fixing everything from video game addiction (my kids would spend much more time in front of a screen if I wasn’t there) to education (flexible parents have more time to volunteer). It does not surprise me at all that, for many women, work flexibility is more important than the size of their paycheck. A recent study done by Flexjobs.com found that 89% of respondents consider work flexibility the most important factor in choosing their next job, with competitive pay being the second most important at only 50%. “Independent and flexible is absolutely the future of work,” says Benjamin Dyett, cofounder of Grindspaces.com, a members-only collaborative work space and professional community that serves this type of worker. “By 2020 there will be 64.9 million flexible workers.” Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs.com, a site that helps people find work-at-home jobs, part-time work and other forms of flexible employment, is passionate about making this a reality for parents long before 2020. Her job board already helps connect people looking for flexible work with companies that offer it. But she felt there was a need for everyone—employer, employee and interested organizations—to have a say. So she spearheaded 1 Million for Work Flexibility, a national initiative to create a collective voice in support of work flexibility. "My company is absolutely a passion project,” Fell says of Flexjobs.com. “And through it, I found myself in the position of evangelizing for workplace flexibility. This initiative is the natural extension of that role." Fell hopes it will unite business leaders, nonprofits and for-profit companies to join her in these efforts. If you are part of the 89% looking for more work flexibility, sign up to make your voice heard, be in the loop on news and trends on this topic, and learn. Christina Tynan-Wood has been covering technology since the dawn of the Internet and currently writes the Family Tech column for Family Circle. You can find more advice about buying and using technology at GeekGirlfriends.com.