Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Flexible Work: Not Just for Secretaries Anymore

Stella has written in the past about how irritating some coverage of flexible work arrangements can be. You know, photos showing women working with children coloring quietly at their feet, stories trumpeting how great a company's policies are (especially for the three low-level staff members, usually women, who actually take advantage of them).


So from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a Q & A with Lynette Horrell, a managing partner at Ernst & Young who, amazingly enough, also has children (she was one of the first woman partners with kids, apparently). Accountants have an unavoidable work-life conflict because of the "everybody has the same drop-dead deadline for their taxes" problem of their business. And while it isn't telecommuting specifically designed to make their employees' lives peaceful on a daily basis, it does allow people to work a ton of overtime when needed -- without totally abandoning their families or their lives. So their accountants can leave the office at six at night, chill with their familes, pets, rock climbing wall, or what-have-you until later, and then hit it for some overtime from their laptops later that night.

Although there is something a little depressing about this paragraph: "I love to ski. Talk about telecommuting. We just bought a house at Seven Springs, and we go up there on Friday night. I'll work Saturday while my family is skiing..." Ummm, Ms. Horrell, how exactly is this helping YOU explore your love of skiing?

Whatever, I'm just glad to see that it's working.

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