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Our modern workplace: defining flexible work arrangements

Jun 4 2018

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In the News
ORA staffer's laptop with sticker "This is my office"

In today’s work environment, many departments at Stanford recognize the constraints of the traditional nine-to-five workday at the office and are exploring workplace structures that support flexibility and better work-life integration for employees.

If you are like the average worker in the Bay Area (link is external), your commute time is 60 minutes or longer. Long commutes—and the stresses and environmental concerns that come with them—are all issues that employees must contend with daily. Many employers are recognizing that for some, job satisfaction may be negatively affected before the workday even starts.

According to Global Workplace Analytics (link is external), about 40 percent more companies in the U.S. now offer flexible work options compared to five years ago. Just take a look at Fortune Magazine’s 2018 list of 100 Best Places To Work For (link is external) and you’ll see that 86 of the companies offer flexible work.

Flexible work arrangements such as telecommuting, flexible or alternative scheduling, job sharing and remote working not only benefit the employee, but can also benefit the employer by improving productivity and efficiency (link is external). At Stanford, the various types of flexible work arrangements are defined in detail by Administrative Guide Memo 2.1.20: Staff Telecommuting and Remote Working. The policy also outlines the eligibility guidelines and expectations to consider when a manager is discussing a flexible work arrangement with an employee.

The Graduate School of Education (GSE) and the Office of Research Administration (ORA) are among several schools and business units across the university that have already implemented and experimented with flexible work arrangements. Priscilla Fiden, associate dean of administration for GSE, and Russell Brewer, associate vice president for ORA, say that a flexible work program has transformed the way they work. Full story