Say flexibility slowly and it pleases the tongue. Think about what it is and it makes us smile.
Picture your life with the flexibility to do what you need to do on an on-going basis.
I’ve been contemplating the value and the cost of flexibility in the workplace. It has been a centerpiece of our business model over the 38 years of our business. I believe it has worked well.
Because I require flexibility in my own life, I extend it to others.
Somehow we get enough done to allow us to mail more than a million
issues of our magazines each year. Even though I am too much of a
procrastinator, even I at least skid into deadlines.
Since I am happy having a lot of flexibility in my work life, I figure others will probably be happy working in a flexible environment as well. The goal with flexibility is to allow team members to work and have a home life, even a play life, fit in with getting work accomplished. It works.
Looking at the alternative brings it all into focus. What if we were not flexible? What if team members could not get time off to attend school plays, baseball games, graduations? If parents were not able to work from home when their kids are sick or be available to accompany their own parents to the doctor – what then?
Here’s what I think. We would all be a bit grumpier, stressed, dissatisfied. I don’t think we’d get more done.
The way it is here is that we all have lives – not just at work – but lives that involve families, education, play. When we are free to fit all the pieces of our lives into one grand puzzle, life is simply better. We are the architects of our lives and working is a vital piece. So we make it work. Flexibility is the key.
One of the best results of making our own decisions is that the work gets done – always. Since there are a dozen of us working full time, we have the luxury of being able to fill in for one another.
What if we were not flexible?
What if team members could not get time off
to attend school plays, baseball games, graduations?
If parents were not able to work from home
when their kids are sick or be available
to accompanytheir own parents to the doctor – what then?
Here’s what I think.
We would allbe a bit grumpier, stressed, dissatisfied.
I don’t think we’d get more done.
Two graphic designers and our COO are skilled in design. Two editors and one publisher (me), plus freelance writers, are enough to put out 10 separate magazines a month. An office manager and administrative assistant are cross-trained and we have needed them being flexible and willing to fill in for each other. Account executives often step up to train new hires and support each other day in and day out.
There is laughter and love along with daily work. We put out magazines we are proud of and know everyone pulls the wagon up the hill. That is why we know flexibility works. And because it works so well, we recommend it.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.