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Workplaces are catching up to the future. Meet the companies and individuals who are making it happen.

  1. New Mothers Have Better Health When Fathers Can Work Flexibly

    New Mothers Have Better Health When Fathers Can Work Flexibly

    New research into heterosexual couples in Sweden shows that flexible policies that help new fathers find life-work compatibility also help new mothers stay healthy. The study, conducted by two researchers at Stanford University and detailed in a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper issued in May, provided evidence that mothers experience fewer physical postpartum health problems and enjoy better mental health when fathers can work flexibly after the birth of their child.

  2. Errand Paralysis

    Work Burnout Is Causing Widespread “Errand Paralysis” Among Americans

    You may recall a BuzzFeed News article that went viral earlier this year in which Anne Helen Petersen describes "How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation." In the article, she identifies "errand paralysis"—the inability to complete mundane and straightforward tasks—as one of the symptoms of burnout in a culture where overwork is idolized and in an economy where overwork is practically required. Now, a new study is giving some real credibility to her theory.

  3. Employees With Diabetes

    People Living With Diabetes Face Greater Flexibility Bias at Work

    As researchers from Denmark note in a new study published in the journal BMC Public Health, the number of people of working age who are living with chronic diseases is increasing, and workplace flexibility can help keep these people in the workforce if their colleagues can acknowledge their need for workday customizations. Unfortunately, as these researchers discovered through an online survey of more than 1,100 Danish workers, employers feel a higher degree of responsibility to afford flexibility to workers with other types of chronic diseases—cancer, heart disease, arthritis, etc.—then they are to workers with diabetes. Additionally, employers "are willing to pay less for flexibility at the workplace for people with diabetes compared to people with chronic disease in general."

  4. You Don't Need to Redesign Your Office

    You Don't Need to Redesign Your Office to Maximize Productivity

    We've already discussed how one size does not fit all when it comes to flexibility. Turns out, the same can be said for workspaces, as the 2019 IWG Global Workspace Survey reveals. "Businesses are also now acknowledging that in the work environment, one size really doesn't fit all, rather providing specific types of environments to different work functions is key to achieving greater productivity," IWG asserts. "For example, this could mean providing creative teams with large meeting rooms to brainstorm in or giving project managers semi-secluded desks to take phone calls and work on tough financial calculations."

  5. Location Flexibility Is a Health Imperative For Pregnant Employees

    Location Flexibility Is a Health Imperative For Pregnant Employees

    A new study revealed sobering statistics about commuting while pregnant. In the study, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Lehigh University found that women who commute by car 50 or more miles each way may be at a "much greater risk" of having low-birth-weight babies and fetuses with intrauterine growth restriction, as The New York Times recently reported. Furthermore, the probabilities of low birth weight and intrauterine growth restriction rise 0.9 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, for every 10 miles of distance added to a lengthy commute.

  6. Employee Ghosting

    If Your Workers Are Ghosting on You, It's Time for a Flexibility Check

    Ghosting isn't just endemic in the dating world: It's also a problem in the business world. Job applicants drop out of the hiring process without warning. New recruits are no-shows on their first day. Veteran employees simply stop showing up at work. Flexibility, however, could keep employees and applicants feeling engaged and valued—while keeping the lines of communication open.

  7. You Can't Invest in Wellness Without Investing in Flex

    You Can’t Invest in Wellness Without Investing in Flexibility

    Less than 10 percent of the global workforce has access to a workplace wellness program, but workplace wellness is still a $47 billion industry, and one that is "heavily concentrated in high-income countries in North America, Western Europe, and Asia," according to a 2018 report by the Global Wellness Institute. But how effective are these programs, really? Do in-office massage sessions, corporate yoga centers, and company retreats really cure employees' stress and anxieties? Yes they certainly can—but not unless employees also have access to flexibility.

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