W+LFit Tips: Keeping Flex in Recession (BusinessWeek)/ Small Business (Smart Money)

Recently I was asked to offer tips for two very different groups–working parents for BusinessWeek.com and small businessowners for SmartMoney.com.

BusinessWeek’s Working Parents Blog — How to Keep Your Job (And Flexibility!) in a Recession

For BusinessWeek’s Working Parents Blog, blogger Lauren Young asked me to provide advice to working parents about how to keep the flexibility they have during a recession. Here’s an excerpt and link:

“Today’s news that U.S. payrolls declined by 80,000 jobs in March left a sinking feeling in my stomach. BusinessWeek’s chief economist is predicting job cuts in sectors such as financial services, real estate, as well as some consumer areas like hotels and restaurants.

How can you keep your head off the chopping block? Career experts say this is the time to shine at work, but plenty of the working parents I know already have a tough time juggling the demands of their professional life with their personal life.

So that’s why I turned to Cali Williams Yost, president and founder of Work+Life Fit and author of Work+Life: Finding the Fit That’s Right for You (Riverhead/Penguin Group, 2005). Her tips for keeping your job afloat during a recession are geared to working parents, but this advice applies to anyone who wants to stay gainfully employed: (Click here to more)”

SmartMoney.com — Small Business and Flexibility as a Competitive Advantage

For Smart Money.com, the focus was on how small business owners can use the inherent flexibility they offer to compete with larger employers for talent. At the end of the article I discuss the “floodgates fear” and the fear that the work won’t get done that partially-paralyze most managers no matter the size of the company within which they work. Here’s an excerpt and a link:

“Any arrangement, of course, has to benefit the company and its bottom line. It’s important for a small-business owner to ask for accountability when giving an employee the freedom to set their own hours or schedule. They should discuss with the employee how work will get done, how deadlines will be met and how flexibility can improve business results.

“The big fear amongst naysayers is ‘if we give it to one person, then everyone will want it, and no one will be there,'” says Cali Williams Yost, a consultant on flexibility strategies in Madison, N.J. “That almost never happens.” Another concern is that flexible scheduling can hamper productivity. However, “most people don’t want to work less,” Yost says. “They just want to work differently.” (Click here to read the entire article)

(Check my most recent Fast Company blog posting: CIOs Decide: Is Flexibility “Naïve” or a Reality That Can’t Be Ignored?)