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Flexible Work Arrangements - Why should you offer them?

by Kirsten Ross, SPHR

In any economy, organizations must be very creative in order to attract and retain top quality employees.

 What can set you apart from other organizations? How can you become the “Employer of Choice”? 

Candidates across the country are telling us what it takes.  And overwhelmingly what they are saying in many forums is that they want more life balance.

Most individuals that I have communicated with regarding flexible work arrangements, even those working for the most conservative or traditional organizations, are aware of flexible work arrangements that exist in pockets within their organizations.  Employers have responded to individual employee requests to change work schedules or locations so that those employees can better balance familial and work obligations.  

Perhaps they had a top-notch employee go out on maternity leave or maybe an employee’s parent became ill and needed additional care.  The employee made a request to someone within the organization and was granted the opportunity to change his or her work arrangement.  After all, the organization didn’t want to risk losing that quality employee, right? 

And, without fail, I hear that the arrangements are working well.  The employee has continued to work, is loyal and happy with the organization.  Often, the organization is experiencing increased productivity from that individual. 

If your organization is offering these informal arrangements to internal employees only, they are missing out on a powerful tool for attracting high quality external candidates.  

If you work for a larger organization, you may not even realize all of the informal arrangements that are taking place.  We can help you take an inventory to find best practices within your organization.  If you are already offering the arrangements it’s just a matter of formalizing them with policies, packaging them and marketing them to potential candidates. 

If you need help formalizing these arrangements see our sample policies at  to assist you in the implementation process.  They can provide you with the beginning framework. 

Kirsten Ross is mother of two sons and is a Certified Human Resource Professional (SPHR) dedicated to helping women achieve more life balance and to transforming the design of work.

Visit at to search our revolutionary flexible work job board featuring more than 35,000 fresh work from home, part time, job share, flex time and telecommuting opportunities, search for a job share partner or read valuable career, life balance and family articles.  You may also email her at



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