Guide from FWI and SHRM Offers Bold New Ideas in Workplace Flexibility

Nov 9, 2011

Practices by award-winning companies influenced by recession and aided by technology

Washington, D.C., Nov. 9, 2011 – Fueled by technology and the recession, leading companies are offering flexibility for their employees with a focus on measureable work results rather than face time in the office, according to the 2012 Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work, which was released today.

The Guide, published by the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), highlights the practices of the winners of the Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility — from Turner Construction Company’s “TurnerTalk” project-management software that allows employees flexible work arrangements to McGladrey’s “Declaration of Flexibility” that guarantees flexible work options, including FlexYear, which provides a schedule similar to a teacher’s.

Available for purchase from the SHRMStore, the Guide was released at the SHRM-FWI Work-Life Focus: 2012 and Beyond conference (Twitter hashtag: #workflex11) being held this week in Washington, D.C.

“Workplace flexibility practices are become more widespread, but they aren’t one-size-fits-all,” said Ellen Galinsky, FWI’s president. “This year’s Sloan winners show that companies are embracing ‘flexible flexibility,’ respecting employees to get work done where and when they choose.”

Technology was cited by almost every company profiled in the Guide as a tool that allows them to focus on employees’ results rather than face time, Galinsky said.

SHRM President and CEO Henry G. (Hank) Jackson noted that the move toward more adaptable flexibility has been fueled in part by the recession. “Flexibility is a business strategy that has helped save jobs, diminished work pressures for employees, and improved employee morale and engagement during turbulent times. These Sloan award-winning companies are thriving more than most.”

Galinsky along with Shirley Davis and Lisa Horn, co-project directors of SHRM’s workplace flexibility initiative, will talk about the Guide at a press briefing at the work-life conference. The briefing is from 9:45 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, in the Massachusetts Room of the Capital Hilton, 1001 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036.

The Guide features 450 worksites representing a variety of industries across the country. To be selected as a winner, employers had to score in the top 20% of employers nationally. Two-thirds of the score comes from employees, who are surveyed as a part of the process.

For the first time this year, applicants for the Sloan awards were asked how they responded to the needs of military veterans and their families. The 2012 Guide details how some employers responded with innovative and generous initiatives.

The Sloan Awards are part of When Work Works, a research-based initiative by FWI and SHRM to highlight the effectiveness of workplace flexibility.

MEDIA: To receive an electronic copy of the 2012 Guide, contact Kate Kennedy at and 703-535-6260, or Kelly Sakai at and 212-981-2559.

About the Families and Work Institute

The Families and Work Institute (FWI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that studies the changing workforce, family and community. As a preeminent think tank, FWI is known for being ahead of the curve, identifying emerging issues, and then conducting rigorous research that often challenges common wisdom and provides insight and knowledge. As an action tank, FWI conducts numerous studies that put its research into action and then evaluates the results. Its purpose is to create research to live by. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @FWINews.

About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in more than 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at and follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.


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