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Let’s Get Flexible: 1 Tip to Create What You Want at Work

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It is the end of the era of pushing the “one size fits all” experience in the workplace. Employees expect a degree of flexibility and customization, whether that entails setting their own hours, working remotely, job sharing, or some other out of the box solution. While Boomers may be stereotyped to think this is an “entitled” approach to work, Boomers want the flexibility too. Hey, who could blame them?

Blending life and work is more attainable than ever. And, change is hard. At Fierce, I talk with HR leaders who are working every day to give their employees what they want and need, while still upholding their organization’s responsibilities and goals. It is not an easy task. Yet, they must evolve their thinking to solve pressing work-life issues for their best and brightest.

For example, take employees who seek to work fewer hours, whether for personal leave reasons or just preference. In some progressive organizations, we are seeing robust job share programs that allow employees to share shifts on the same role. Others allow a team to work extra to fill one full-time position, with upside for all of the individuals involved.

Where did these ideas of job sharing start? With the employees. Employees must share in the responsibility for creating positive change for themselves and others.

The one tip to create what you need is to answer the question: What one thing, if shifted, would change everything for me? Then share that with your direct manager.

The goal of this exercise is to really explore what is missing from your day-to-day. I often quote Annie Dillard who said, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives”. Probably because I think it is one of the most practical ways to move your thinking about how important each day is. You are only guaranteed this present day, after all.

So what is the one thing that needs to change? What would bring you more joy in your day? What would make you more productive? If you identify that your list of “needs to shift” is too great, then perhaps you need to find a new job.

And to break it down, the good and the bad are the same – it is up to you to get what you want…or don’t want.


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