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New Conference Focuses on Workplace Flexibility

By Kathy Gurchiek  2/1/2011
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Workplace flexibility will be the focus of a new annual conference the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Families and Work Institute (FWI) will co-host in 2011, SHRM announced during a Feb. 1, 2011, press conference at the National Press Club.

The Work-Life Focus 2012 and Beyond Conference is slated for November 2011 in Washington, D.C. It will bring together the best experts in the work/life field and provide information and resources to help businesses successfully implement workplace flexibility, said Henry G. “Hank” Jackson, SHRM’s interim president and CEO.

Detailed conference information and registration will be available March 2011. The conference is one of many offerings from the two groups’ new multi-year partnership, “Moving Work Forward.”

FWI is a 21-year-old nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization and think tank in New York that focuses on the changing workforce, family and community. Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of FWI, was a planner and participant at the March 2010 White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility and is working with the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor on the regional forums on flexibility that are continuing the work of the White House Forum.

SHRM has called workplace flexibility a key business imperative and an issue that will dominate human capital management in the coming years. The global HR organization has become increasingly vocal in recent years at encouraging organizations to adopt flex policies and practices while discouraging government mandates to employers to implement flex arrangements.

In July 2010 SHRM joined the Corporate Voices for Working Families to ask C-suite executives to sign a Statement of Support for Expanding Workplace Flexibility. Additionally, workplace flexibility was one of three main focus areas during a global thought leaders gathering that SHRM hosted in March 2010, and SHRM hosted an invitation-only symposium on workplace flexibility in September 2010. The work/life conference also will convene thought leaders to help identify strategies for the workplace.

The SHRM/FWI partnership will bring together research, practical tools and resources, and solutions to help HR members and their employers implement and advocate for flexible workplaces, SHRM said in a press statement.

SHRM members have been looking to the global HR organization, the statement said, to do more to help them “navigate the options in implementing a flexible and productive workplace.”

Related Articles:

SHRM: Flexibility Needed to Recruit, Retain Older Workers, HR News, November 2010 

SHRM Urges Employers to Embrace Workplace Flexibility, HR News, July 2010

Related Resources:

SHRM Workplace Flexibility Resource Page

Work-Life Focus 2012 and Beyond Conference



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