Flexibility: Friend or Foe? A reflection on work intensification in an era promoting flexiblity

I remember a conversation I had with a colleague when I worked in France some years back. I was surprised that he had refused to take up the company's offer of paying for his broadband, while the rest of us jumped at the offer. He argued that if he accepted the offer, the organisation could then expect him to be always 'on', to be available for webinars, calls and emails 24x7. At the time, I considered his line of argumentation to be an exaggeration, an untrusting over-analysis of what was a very generous offer from the company to pay for home broadband. Looking back, I'm not so quick to laugh off what he had suggested... Let me stress that never did the company demand 24x7 response to electronic communication. However, given the nature of the work which meant keeping on top of developments, Continue reading here [...]

Women at Work: ‘Having it all’ versus ‘balls in the air’

While the proportion of women in the workplace has increased, there continues to be a wide discrepancy between those women in staff and management postions. McKinsey's MD Domic Barton's presentation stresses the importance of women being employed throughout the pipeline in organisations Lack of support is often bandied about as the main reason for the fall off in the number of women in management positions. While organisations are encouraged to provide support through family-friendly and anti-discrimination policies and practices, line management support is equally important in understanding the needs of staff to work flexible hours for instance.  Beyond organisation-based support, encouragement and support must be forthcoming from a spouse/partner, who is willing to share in the childcare Continue reading here [...]