Setting Your Own Hours at the Workplace

Setting your own hours for family's sake

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Feel restricted by that nine-to-five job? Or feel like your job is preventing you from enjoying your family or other things you find important in your life? President Obama and the first lady are trying to help. Today, the White House is holding a forum with CEO's, labor leaders and small business owners to look for "strategies for making the workplace more flexible." But how easy is it to set your own hours at the office?

Karol Rose, who is the chief knowledge officer for Flexpaths, and the author of "Work Life Effectiveness: Bottome Line Strategies for Today's Workplace," has been fighting for the American workplace to become more flexible for their employees and employers. LeAnne Shuler, worked a nine-to-five as an accountant, until she finally had enough of her rigid work schedule and decided to quit to start her own business.  She is now happy and successful with her own flexible schedule.

Comments [4]

Angel from Miami, FL

I would save so much money but as a single guy I would also be so "a-lonely".

Mar. 31 2010 09:49 AM
David Wicks from Rye, Colorado

I have a friend who, for several years, was a healthcare Case Manager for CIGNA. Her job was to see that patients who have been hospitalized receive, upon discharge, all the information and guidance they need to recover and stay out of the hospital in the future. It's really a cost saving function. She worked at home on a computer and with secure software provided by CIGNA. Because she works at home in a salaried job, the amount of work she must do and the hours she must spend, are invisible to her employer. She is an excellent nurse and very good at personal interactions, but a poor typist and ad hoc computer user. She worries very much about losing her job and spends 10 hours plus per day and considerable time over the weekends.

Here’s my point: CIGNA, like most corporations is oriented toward the short-term bottom line. They will not make provision for an adequate supply of Case Managers a priority, even though this function tends to save money in the long-term. It is key to them to show their customers they have this service in order to keep their accounts and gain new ones. It is not important to them to robustly fulfill the obligations inherent in this service. Their customers are the employers and not the patients.

Mar. 31 2010 09:32 AM

There have been plenty of studies that conclude that less hours working can actually result in more productivity, not less. As a working mother, I support more flexible hours.

Mar. 31 2010 08:59 AM
Joan Williams from Joan Williams, Center for WorkLife Law

It makes no sense to run workplaces today as if all responsible and conscientious workers are always available for work. That made sense in an economy of male breadwinners married to homemakers -- the economy of 1960. It makes no sense today. In fact, this outdated assumption creates a mismatch between today's workplace and today's workforce, which leads to high absenteeism and attrition as workers respond to pressing family needs--to attend a teacher's conference, an important doctor's appointment with an elderly parent, or nurse a spouse who has recently returned from the hospital. Employers can best help their bottom line by instituting workplace flexibility, so employees can reconcile their work obligations with the duties they owe to their families. For more information about how work-family conflict shows up in the lives of low-income and working-class families, see

Mar. 30 2010 09:08 PM

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