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Develop a Balanced Flexible Work Program

Balance the organization’s needs with employees’ needs to attract and retain the right talent.

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  • Judi Casey, WorkLife Consultant and former Director, Work and Family Researchers Network, Boston College
  • Carol Cochran, Director of People & Culture, FlexJobs
  • Lilian De Menezes, Professor of Decision Sciences, Cass Business School, University of London
  • Chris Frame, Partner – Operations, LiveCA
  • Kidde Kelly, OD Practitioner
  • Claire McCartney, Diversity & Inclusion Advisor, CIPD
  • Rose M. Stanley, CCP, CBP, WLCP, CEBS, People Services Manager, Sunstate Equipment Co., LLC

Previous Contributors

  • Dr. David Chalmers, Adjunct Professor, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University
  • Teresa Hopke, SVP of Client Relations, Life Meets Work –
  • Shari Lava, Principal, Vendor Research, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Dr. Kenneth Matos, Senior Director of Research, Families and Work Institute
  • Kashmira Nagarwala, Change Manager, Siemens Canada
  • Mark Tippey, IT Leader and Experienced Teleworker
  • Kim Velluso, VP Human Resources, Siemens Canada
  • Dr. Isik U. Zeytinoglu, Professor of Management and Industrial Relations, McMaster University, DeGroote School of Business
  • In recent years, some organizations have outright banned flexible work, reporting it to be a failure.
  • Research shows consistent challenges: programs are ad hoc; minimal assessment of the suitability of jobs for flexible work; and a lack of information and support for managers and employees on how to work differently to make it a success.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Do your due diligence when it comes to developing a flexible work program: assess which options are actually feasible for the organization and identify the options employees would use. This way, the program will simply need to be tweaked to work out any kinks rather than scrapping it entirely.

Impact and Result

  • Make a business case to leadership about how flexible work can solve specific organizational pain points, rather than following the latest trend.
  • Balance employer and employee needs by assessing the feasibility of various flexible work options and determining if the options are something employees would actually use.
  • Equip managers and employees with information and guidance setting them up for success, and address key implementation issues and cultural barriers.

Research & Tools

2. Create a shortlist of options

Review common types of flexible work and shortlist options for feasibility assessment.

3. Assess feasibility

Assess shortlisted flexible work options, gain leadership approval and investment, and identify implementation issues and cultural barriers.

4. Implement the program

Equip managers and employees to adopt flexible work options while addressing implementation issues and cultural barriers and aligning HR programs.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is an eight call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Set program direction

Call #1 - Review metrics to track program success.
Call #2 - Discuss tactics to gain leadership buy-in.

Guided Implementation #2 - Create a shortlist of options

Call #1 - Clarify the types of flexible work options.
Call #2 - Discuss the impact of flexible work options and establish a shortlist.

Guided Implementation #3 - Assess feasibility

Call #1 - Review the feasibility assessments of the shortlist and determine the final list.

Guided Implementation #4 - Implement the program

Call #1 - Develop strategies to address implementation issues and cultural barriers.
Call #2 - Customize the flexible work guide for managers and employees.
Call #3 - Plan for ongoing program evaluation and improvement.

Onsite Workshop

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Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Assess Feasibility of Flexible Work Options

The Purpose

  • Set metrics for the flexible work project.
  • Discover options and determine their feasibility.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Flexible work options determined.




Analyze the data.

  • Data analyzed

Identify program goals and metrics.

  • Program goals and metrics identified

Identify employee segments that may need separate flexible work options.

  • Employee segments that may need separate flexible work options identified

Brainstorm flexible work options.

  • Flexible work options brainstormed

Assess feasibility of options.

  • Feasibility of options assessed

Finalize option(s).

  • Option(s) finalized

Module 2: Plan for Implementation

The Purpose

  • Work through potential risks.
  • Plan for program rollout.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Manager guide created.
  • Action and communication plan outlined.




Brainstorm solutions to implementation issues.

  • Potential solutions to implementation issues brainstormed

Identify how to overcome cultural barriers.


Define roles and responsibilities.

  • Roles and responsibilities defined

Design manager guide prototype.

  • Manager guide prototype designed

Align HR programs to support flexible work.

  • HR programs aligned with flexible work

Develop an action and communication plan.

  • Action and communication plan developed