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When people talk about what makes a “good job,” one characteristic that always rises to the top is flexibility. Flexibility was a top reason that some participants of the 2011 Wage and Benefit Survey identified as what they liked best about their jobs. And, similarly inflexible schedules was one of the reasons other participants identified as what they liked least about their job.  Flexibility as a job quality is becoming more desired by job seekers, (or maybe we are just more willing to ask for it) and as a result makes those employers who offer flexibility more competitive. It can be a win-win for employers and employees.

In the 2011 Wage & Benefit survey of WSCADV Member Programs, employees were asked if they felt they had a lot of flexibility, some flexibility, limited flexibility, or no flexibility in their work schedules.  40% of participants said they had a lot of flexibility and 39% said they had some flexibility. That’s a lot of workers! However, there was still about 20% of DV program staff who felt like they had little or no flexibility. The way DV programs are structured, it may seem difficult to figure out how to offer flexibility in a way that both makes sense for the needs of the program and is meaningful for the staff. Flexibility in scheduling is one way to think about it, but flexibility may also be offered in job duties to allow for variety and new opportunity. What are some ways your workplace offers flexibility? How do you do it? Why does it work? Let’s talk about how to make flexible jobs work for our field!

One thought on “S-T-R-E-T-C-H

  1. For fob flexibility to be conducive to a workplace and its staff there has to be proper back up support for positions or shifts. Too often the responsibility falls on the individual who needs someone to fill in. The best way to address this would be to have a strong and varied support staff and supervisors who will be mandated to fill in if no one from part or full-time is found. Additionally, keeping jobs full-time with a living wage is essential. Otherwise, you’re looking at burn out and high turnover rates, not only because of the nature of the work, but the climate of the workplace itself.

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