Flexibility in the Workplace is Freedom

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July is the month we reflect on freedom in the U.S., both on a personal and a national scale. We take a day to celebrate our country’s independence and for most of us, the being free part is just a given. Sure, we are proud and grateful that our forefathers fought a bloody battle so that we can enjoy the rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” But, honestly…we are busy. Laboriously, industriously, painstakingly…busy.
According to the John D. MacArthur Professor of Political Science, Michael C. Dawson, most Americans are working more, a lot more, and earning less than their peers in other countries. Bernie Sanders, the recent presidential hopeful, fired up crowds of Americans with this blunt, but true, stump speech phrase: “The average American is working longer hours for lower wages.” ABC News recently reported, “Americans work more than anyone in the industrialized world. More than the English, more than the French, way more than the Germans or Norwegians. Even, recently, more than the Japanese.”
After opening with that info we don’t want you to get the wrong idea about A and L Masters. We are not against work…we work hard and we play hard. We don’t mean hard as in stressful or painful. We invest time in our business in a passionate way. What we do creates income and it is time consuming, but when your work is something you love coupled with it being lucrative…that for us equals freedom.
The financial benefits are freeing but the flexibility to work when and where we want is pure heaven! And, according to a new EY survey of 9,700 full-time employees in eight of the world’s largest economies, more choice in their schedules is what most workers are craving. Time flexibility was the number one choice of those surveyed, just after competitive pay and benefits. Why? Because restricted work schedules cause work life imbalance, which not only makes folks unhappy, it can lead to extreme health issues.
More and more, workers are realizing that their lives are not what they could be. A 2002 National Study of the Changing Workforce poignantly showed reflection among older workers supporting flexibility: “Among older workers, the odds of being very satisfied with life are 67.4% higher for those who have a high level of flexibility on the job than for those who do not.” The feeling of job satisfaction can be tied to better health overall. The same study found self-scheduling improved blood pressure, heart rate, tiredness, mental health, sleep duration, sleep quality and alertness. No wonder the older workers looked back fondly at being able to have some control over their work schedule!
Life is meant to be experienced in an integrated course…a flow, where each section supports and embraces the other. Family life especially can suffer when compartmentalized. Having a job where you can prioritize your family commitments is a win-win for all areas of your life. When your emotional and physical being is less stressed you are energized to meet and exceed your financial goals. For us, “ the pursuit of happiness” is living life in a well-rounded, balanced fashion. Our work is something we enjoy and it doesn’t suffocate or squash our family and personal activities. We hope the same for you!

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