Working the Good Life
Want to get a sneak peak at some of the benefits you might be enjoying someday soon on the job? Working Mother magazine's latest issue featured some of the best corporate perks for work/life balance in an article entitled Young, Gifted and Leaving (focused on innovative law firms that are capturing female lawyers leaving the grind at traditional firms). Here's how some forward-thinking businesses are meeting the needs of Generation X/Y:
- Flexible work: flextime, reduced hours, compressed workweeks, sabbaticals, family leaves
- Support systems: online work/family discussion groups, part-time work coordinators, technology support (the latest in wireless gadgets and backup to allow working from home, including IT staff housecalls), backup and full-time childcare
- No mommy tracking: maintained bonuses and promotions despite parental leaves, ability for advancement at a specified pace (e.g., one firm states that associates working 4/5ths time for 5 years are up for advancement 16 months later than if they had remained full-time), mentor assignments to younger employees
The companies cooking up these morsels know they are good for business. For every lawyer who quits, a law firm loses about $300,000 in training and recruitment; retaining bright and talented workers makes basic financial sense.
I feel confident that benefits such as these will not be limited to cutting edge law firms. Other businesses will have the same retention issues that law firms face, and as more companies make the leap toward family-friendly policies, these will eventually become the norm.
And of course, I'm invested in tracking the use of these policies by men. Women will make up the majority of participants, but I'll be cheering for us men to do so as well.