THE BLOG
10/10/2013 03:58 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Don't Let Work Flex Fade Away -- Fight For It!

If you have a flexible job, you already know its power to make your full day work, from morning drop off to the late-night conference call. (I'd share my calendar from today, but I don't think you'd believe it!)

If you don't have flex, then you certainly know the stress of trying to sneak it all in while hoping not to get caught coming in late or leaving early to make a family obligation, an early class or a doctor's appointment (to name just a few).

Since the arrival of my first baby, I have experienced a fairly full spectrum of flex options, from essentially none at all at one employer to what I would say now is a great arrangement for me (working from home on Fridays and making time for school events and extra work when necessary) and my boss.

You might remember earlier this year when a few high-profile companies opted to cut back on flex and the brouhaha that subsequently erupted. That passion and need for flex by all employees is what has led us (aided by the Alliance for Work-Life Progress and FlexJobs to designate October 15 as National Flex Day as a way to celebrate and advocate for the power of flex nationwide.

I invite you now to join us to celebrate! Participation is easy: Share our National Flex badge, tell us how flex works for you by commenting on the Working Mother Facebook page or on Twitter -- or share how the lack of flex impacts your life.

And if you have questions about how to get or implement flex at your job, you can join us on October 15 at 2:30 EST on the Working Mother Facebook page when Working Mother and a panel of flex work experts will take your inquiries and share our best tips.

National Flex Day is part of National Work and Family Month, which highlights the way employers can help employees be their best at work and at home. At Working Mother, we believe the key element in this equation is flexible work -- and yet, millions of American workers still don't have access to flex at work, or must keep it hidden if they do. For too many, flex remains a special privilege, a retention tactic for top performers that's often offered as a last resort as that talent is walking out the door.

In our newest research report, entitled "How We Flex: The Working Mother Report," sponsored by McGladrey, more than 1,500 working moms told us that not only is flex a top consideration in considering a new job -- but that it increases their productivity, morale and motivation when they have it. And when respondents' managers work flexibly--suggestive of an organization with a broader engagement in flex--the benefits are magnified. These "double-layer" flex workers are more positive on a significant number of measures versus the total survey population.

Flexibility needs to be applied as a "worksite initiative, just like health or safety," says Ellen Ernst Kossek, professor of management at Purdue University's Krannert School of Management and associate director of the Center for Work-Family Stress, Safety and Health. "We should be looking at how to distribute it across entire work groups and job roles."

We couldn't agree more. Our readers tell us the same thing and my own work teams concur. That's why we ask you to join us in shining a light on the power of flex. Celebrate National Flex Day with us and send a message to employers nationwide that flex works for everyone.