Better Pay or More Flexibility: It Doesn't Have to Be a Trade-off

"According to the article more than half of employers offer some variety of flexible work arrangements and has joined a company's bag of incentives. They are seeing all kinds of innovations and infinite variations. Paid parental leave, unlimited vacation time, job sharing, compressed work weeks and full-time telecommuting are all commonplace. Yet this is just the tip of the iceberg when talking about flexibility and work.

I enjoyed that the article looks at the many sides of flexibility in today's work context. It is not simply about paid parental leave or compressed work weeks. Stewart Friedman, director of Wharton's Work/Life Integration Project says "Finding meaning in, and bringing order to , work takes a spirit of experimentation and creativity explicitly negotiated between the worker and employer. It starts with having an appreciation for what matters to you that goes beyond what most people normally think about. What are your values? What is your vision of the work that you are trying to create? What matters to you? You need a compass." Susan Dineen

It’s been a couple of decades now that many workers have had the freedom of greater flexibility: the ability to set hours, to work at home or patch together a day’s work around the demands of child- or elder-care. Many of the youngest American workers have never known it any other way. More than half of employers today offer some variety of flexible work arrangements.

“The macro trend is toward a greater interest and legitimacy in creating flexibility or freedom in the where, when and how of work,” says Stewart Friedman, director of Wharton’s Work/Life Integration Project. “We are seeing all kinds of innovations in the structure of work that are [becoming] normative. It’s not unusual for people to have alternative work arrangements — the extent of variations among companies is infinite.” The digital revolution is certainly one reason, he says. “But it’s also a function of an emergent set of ideas and interests among young people in having a greater sense of control and meaning through their work.”

That many workers and employers are sorting through the “where, when and how” of work is a natural consequence of several trends. Technology allows not just working at home, but also the ability for the boss to monitor when actual work is happening. Flexibility has become a logistical necessity; in nearly half of families with two parents today, both parents work full-time – a marked increase from 1970. And many are choosing multi-track careers that mean earning a living in one job, while finding greater satisfaction moonlighting in another.To read the whole article click here.

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