Lunchtime Live: Let's Talk FlexTime

No-holds-barred conversation about how flextime works and doesn't

Lunchtime Live: Let's Talk FlexTime

Above is a highlight from the October 18 episode of Lunchtime Live. For the full segment, watch the video at the bottom of the page.

Working Mother MediaCarol Evans
Working Mother Media declared Oct. 15 "National Flex Day" to raise awareness of the power of flexible working arrangements to empower employees and increase productivity.

Flex is not just for mothers. And it's not one big rosy picture. It requires good communication skills and trust.

According to the "How We Flex" report, 59 percent say their employers allow for flexibility when work is done, while 53 percent say their employer is flexible on where the work gets done. Yet 44 percent of those who use flexible work arrangements say their commitment at work is challenged by their boss or co-workers.

What's more, while 65 percent of working mothers report they could have a flexible schedule, only 37 percent actually take advantage of it.

AOL Jobs invited a great panel of guests to speak on the topic. Among them were: Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media; Jennifer Owens, director of The Working Mother Research Institute; Bruce Watson, a working dad at AOL's own DailyFinance; and Wendy Kaufman, CEO of Balancing Life's Issues.
Working Mother MediaJennifer Owens
Aol Jobs editor-in-chief Laurie Petersen, who has extensive experience with flexible work arrangements as a manager and employee, moderated the discussion.

What questions do you have about flextime? Post comments before the event in the comments below, or send an email to jobsedit@teamaol.com

For notable highlights, check out the Twitter hashtag #LunchtimeLive.


Working Mother

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Working Mother

I worked for a small non-profit religious organization for 3.5 years. For three years, my immediate supervisor, leadership executive, and I had a "Gentlemen's agreement" where in exchange for my higher level skill set and increased responsibility for the constraints on the position he was able to offer to me, I was permitted to have a flexible work schedule so that I could be a more effective parent. Six months ago, he retired and I went on maternity leave for my second child. Unfortunately, neither of these factors, nor communication were handled well by the organization as a whole and within my department. Once I returned from a pro-rated maternity leave, my new supervisor and colleagues were not in favor of continued flexibility for me, and the senior executive decision maker very clearly stated in writing that flexibility for my position was not permitted. I have endured a lot of drama and my experience has been a real eye opener. I find it hypocritical that as a religious organization, the importance of family is heavily emphasized - and preached on at the pulpit - but the organization was not willing to implement flex policies that would actually help their employees put these important values into practice in our everyday lives. Therefore, when I tendered my resignation, my last day was effective today, Oct 15, 2013, in honor of National Work and Family Month and the First National Flex Day. Thank you, Working Mother's Magazine, for bringing light and attention to this much needed business practice of flex, and for allowing me to share my story.

October 24 2013 at 12:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mom Corps

Can’t wait to tune in tomorrow. I think it’s so interesting that out of the 65 percent of working moms who could have a flexible schedule, only 37 percent actually take advantage of it. A recent workplace trend survey conducted on behalf of Mom Corps by Harris Interactive found that almost half (47%) of working adults agree that asking for flexibility would hurt their chances of advancing in their jobs. It’s clear that there is a gap to be bridged between what is being talked about and what is actually being put into practice within the walls of organizations. As business leaders, what do you think can be done to encourage employees to take advantage of these options without feeling like they’re jeopardizing their career development? -Allison O'Kelly, founder/CEO Mom Corps (www.MomCorps.com)

October 17 2013 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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