Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Working the Work/Life Circuit

Yesterday I attended a Corporate Circle panel at Lehman Brothers on flexibility in the workplace, sponsored by my colleagues at the National Council for Research on Women. Flex in the city. Flex appeal. Ok, I'm having way too much fun here with "flex." Because the term itself is out of vogue.

Flexibility has become the new "f-word" among savvy work/life researchers, advocates, and implementers. Why, you ask? Because the word places the emphasis on accommodating or satisfying employees rather than on the business imperative to create agile workplaces that are more in sync with the changing needs of the 21st century workforce--which is where the emphasis belongs.

Other ways corporate change-makers are talking about what used to be"flex": "mass career customization" (Deloitte) and "the agile workplace" (Catalyst).

And speaking of ahead-of the-curve, here's a call for proposals for a hot conference--do pass it on!:

Families and Work Institute and The Conference Board are seeking proposals on innovative work life practices and approaches for our 2008 Work Life Conference, How We Work and Live Today: The Impact on Employee Engagement and Talent Management, which will be held March 5-6 in Atlanta, GA at the Westin Buckhead Hotel. The online workshop submission form is available here. Suggested workshop topics include:

* What’s really going on with men and women in the workplace today—what’s changed, what’s the same?
* Best practices in responding to the needs of employees at different career and life stages
* How to “flex” flexibly
* Beyond rhetoric—what does it mean to create a respectful workplace?
* How does technology affect work life—and what are companies doing to respond?
* What are companies doing to promote health, wellness, and stress reduction?
* How to help front-line managers deal with their own work life issues so that they can deal better with those of their employees
* Work life and hourly/entry-level employees—what’s new, what’s working?
* New practices in full life cycle dependent care

The deadline for submissions is November 30, 2007.

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