October Is For: Work-Life Balance & Workplace Politics

Workplace Prof Blog reports that, last week, Congress designated October as National Work and Family Life Month.  The primary force behind the measure was the Alliance for Work-Life Progress, and the purpose was to encourage employers and employees to seek flexible work environments to better balance the needs of work and families.

October is also Workplace Politics Awareness Month.  So, how can we put these two noble causes together? 

How about by creating an “official” work-life policy.  An often-heard complaint is the lack of transparency in part-time or remote-work policies. Many organizations, especially in professional-services fields, negotiate reduced-hour schedules on a case-by-case basis. This often results in unequal application of the policy.  The uncertainty also causes some employees to avoid the discussion altogether. In other words, those “in the know” is more likely to request a flex or reduced-hours schedule than someone outside the loop, only because the employee in the know feels more confident that they’ll get an answer they’re expecting.

To prevent unfairly preferential treatment of those with access to the key information holders (i.e., the “favorites”), create a policy on flex schedules for circulation to all employees.

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