“Career or Family? Yes.” That was the headline for an interesting article in The Washington Post by Annys Shin on Saturday, March 22. The article focuses on the important issue of workplace flexibility from this perspective. A growing number of working mothers are turning to career and life coaches — the reporter calls them work-life gurus — to help them achieve a better work-life balance with employers.

The article says, in part:

While the demand for these services is real, questions remain about whether they can deliver. Despite the widespread acceptance of flex time and telecommuting, there is still resistance among employers, especially in time-intensive fields like law and finance, to accommodate parents who want to work reduced hours without harming their careers.

That view coincides with the results of a study Corporate Voices for Working Families commissioned last fall to assess executive perceptions of flexibility. One of the key findings: While business executives say that they view flexibility as a strategic solution to workplace issues, they report that their companies in practice use flexible work strategies as a way to accommodate individuals on a case-by-case basis.

Clearly, the results of that study — as well as The Washington Post article — indicate that more needs to be done to continue to demonstrate to chief executive officers and other business leaders that flexible work strategies are important to hiring and retaining the qualified workforce that is vital to financial success and competitiveness.

by Rob Jewellcorporatevoices-128.jpg