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mainstreaming workplace flexibility: Working Mother Magazine and FlexPaths

By October 27, 2008News, The Business

You all may remember that I wrote a piece on Work/Life Balance back in the spring featuring the dynamic Karol Rose of FlexPaths. Well, that blog entry launched a lovely and ongoing relationship between me and the incredible women of FlexPaths. I’ve been following them and their growth ever since – including their securing of several top companies eager to implement successful and reality-based flexibility programs.

FlexPaths, as a company that defines and supports the future of the workplace, offers workers the information and guidance to find the work situation that meets their needs and provides companies with the tools and products they require to successfully match the demands of their workforce.

Most recently, Flexpaths has formed a strategic partnership with Working Mother Media. According to Robin Roschke, co-founder in charge of Product and Client Development at FlexPaths, ‘Working Mother is a terrific partner for us because they represent one of the key segments of the workforce. Working mothers are a major grassroots force driving the realtime definition of what the ‘work day’ means. Changes in the field will come from companies’ facilitation of this demand for flexibility.”

And the changes are coming. Well-known is the fact that when you rollout programs calling for change to the infrastructure, you need 3 things: time, commitment and business results. Robin told me the story of a middle manager who claimed he only got to try a new flexibility program as a ‘summer pilot program’ because of the spike in gas prices, but the ROI exceeded his company’s expectations so deeply, that flex has now been implemented as standard practice. “First you have early leaders, then fast followers,” said Robin. “After that, the practice becomes mainstream.”

With the need for flexibility in the workplace defying age, gender, race and ability paradigms, Working Mother is committed to making the work of FlexPaths mainstream. The muscle behind Working Mother Media and their 100 Best Companies List and Worklife Congress 2008 conference understands that what FlexPaths offers them is a real opportunity to combine the marketing with the product.

This partnership also strengthens credibility for both sides with experience, action, marketing, product, information – and the research to back everything up. In fact, one of the most attractive aspects of Working Mother Media is the intensive research behind their 100 Best Companies List, and FlexPaths is about to make it even more thorough.

FlexPaths will be refining the flexibility components – how you define it and how you track it – to capture realtime workplace activity for the 2009 list (without which you have survey questions that don’t mean anything and are impossible to answer). Additionally, FlexPaths has commenced a one year study with P&G and Working Mother’ and the results will be presented at the 2009 Working Mother 100 Best Companies conference.

Finally, at this year’s Working Mother Worklife Congress (Oct. 28-30, 2008), FlexPaths’ Karol Rose and Meryl Rosenthal will lead break out sessions on flexibility discussing current changes in the workplace and what businesses are doing to meet the need.

As you know, I think the power of mom is extraordinary, and I applaud FlexPaths and Working Mother Media for their efforts to help moms (and dads and sons and daughters and all caregivers) find flexibility, and therefore, peace of mind, productivity and effectiveness in work and in life.

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