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Can You Create a More Flexible Work Environment?

by Miranda Marquit

Are employers becoming more flexible to the demands of workers? Indications are that many employers are interested in retaining younger workers, and willing to make accommodations for their demands.

Create a better work environmentA recent article posted on the blog at the Wall Street Journal indicates that many employers are trying to find ways to keep the workers from Generation Y happy. And that means that many of them are seeing more flexibility in their work environments. According to the article, employers want millennials on their payrolls because:

They bring fresh skills to the workplace: they’re tech-savvy, racially diverse, socially interconnected and collaborative. Moreover, companies need to keep their employee pipelines full as baby boomers enter retirement.

With technology improving, and many talented workers looking to work for the companies with the most perks, it is little surprise that employers are trying to find ways to cater to the up and comers. If you are starting to feel frustrated and burned out at your job, it might be time to talk to your employer about flexibility.

Thanks to technology, it’s possible to be more flexible than ever. There are new careers springing up, thanks to the Internet, and you don’t even need an online career to take advantage of the technology available. On top of that, the nature of many jobs — especially white collar jobs — makes it possible to add more flexibility to the schedule. Some of the perks that you might consider talking to your boss about include:

  • Telecommuting: Many jobs are compatible with telecommuting. Even if you don’t work from home each day, it’s often possible to work from home two or three days a week. This option can be great for salaried employees whose performance is evaluated more by project and less by punching the clock.
  • Flexible hours: According to the Wall Street Journal article, many in Generation Y are demanding more flexible hours. They want to be able to leave earlier and finish up work at another location. Or perhaps you want to come in later and leave later. Or maybe you would like to come in a little early so that you can leave early enough to be at home. Others prefer a schedule that involves four 10-hour days so that they always have Friday off. Look at your job, and assess how you might see more flexible hours.
  • Flexible leave policies: Even if your employer won’t provide unlimited paid vacation, it is still possible to get a bit of a bonus. Some companies are adding more unpaid leave options. Many workers are happy to take unpaid leave, if it means they can squeeze in an extra vacation.
  • Other perks: We hear a lot about workplaces that feature gyms, and decent cafeterias. There are also workplaces that include child care, on-site, as well as other perks. Ask your employer about the possibility of including some of these perks.

If you have some of the traits that employers want, it’s possible for you to look for more flexibility in your work environment. Many people like to feel as though they are valued, and that often goes beyond mere money. If you are a worker that values a higher quality of life, and is more interested in comfort and flexibility than in having huge pay, you might be able to work something out with your employer.

Photo credit: acflynn


Published or updated August 23, 2012.
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Manette @ Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance

Flexible working environment… one of the reasons why I love working at home! I can go to my sister or my mom and bring my work in their house, or go to the clubhouse while my kids are taking a dip at the pool. I can work at night when I cannot go to sleep or during the day while my kids are in school.

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2 John

Interesting stuff here. It’s encouraging to know that employers are looking for younger workers (I’m young) and that they want to keep us around! :)

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