It’s Not Just About “When” You’ll Work, But “Where” and “How”

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For the past two weeks, I have traveled the country to share the skills we need to flexibly manage our work+life fit day-to-day (tweaks) and at major transitions (resets) in partnership with our employers.

My experience on the road has reinforced that most of us have no idea how to capture and use work flexibility, intentionally, to meet our needs and exceed expectations on our jobs.

There is a massive 65% flexibility “how to” knowledge gap. It’s occurred because 82% of full-time U.S. workers say they have some form of informal or formal flexibility in how, when or where they work, but only 17% of employers train their people how to use it. That assumes you work for one employer. If you don’t, then no one teaches you anything.

We’ve thrown everyone into the work flexibility water without lessons and said, “swim,” then wonder why so many of us still cling to the side of pool not sure how to move forward.

One area of confusion I hear often is that most people still think managing your work+life fit is simply a matter of good time management. Actually, it’s not.

In a world without clocks and walls to tell us where work ends and the other parts of our life begin, “when” we are going to accomplish a particular action or priority is important. But you also have to focus on the “where” and “how.”

It’s a “what, when, where and how” practice.

For example, according to a new study by Regus:

  • 82% of workers in the NY Tri-State region said that they spend at least one day per month working outside of their office.
  • 62% felt that their employer expects them to be available to respond to work issues during this time.
  • But only 18% said that they actually got work done if they were outside of their office, between meetings and had free time.

Why? Because they had no good place to actually do work. Restaurants, coffee shops and airports are noisy, and unpredictable.

As as result, many respondents ended up taking care of personal tasks during that down time, like shopping, walking around or answering personal emails.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with spending time on personal activities as long as it is a deliberate work+life fit choice. Unfortunately, it seems that for many it’s a default response to a lack of quality in between “not in the office, but not at home” workspace.

Thankfully that is changing. Organizations like Regus, WorkSnug and other specialized, membership based co-working entities like In Good Company, are offering drop-in, temporary, co-working options in major cities across the world.  I have made it a point to learn as much as I can about these new, flexible workspaces because they are an important solution that most of us don’t think about.

As you look at your work and personal “to dos” for the upcoming week, don’t be afraid to schedule multiple meetings in a location knowing you will have a place to go in between and still be productive. You don’t have to hope you will find a free table and power source at the local Starbucks.

Today, flexibly managing your work+life fit is not just about “when” you get everything done. It’s also about “where” and “how”. More “not the office but not at home” in between co-working spaces expand the possibilities. They allow you to be more intentional about how you choose to make what matters to you happen, on and off the job. Find them, and strategically use them. I am!

Do you think about “where” and “how” you will do you job and manage the other parts of your life each week, or do you primarily focus on “when?”

For more, I invite you to connect with me on Twitter @caliyost , “Like” our Facebook page, and sign up for our weekly Flex+Strategy/Work+Life Fit Insights newsletter.

 

LIVE 5/8 in NYC FREE Event and Book! It’s Not About “Balance”–Your Work-Life Can Be “Flexible”

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I am very excited to offer this special opportunity courtesy of Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workplaces.

Join me LIVE for a FREE Event and Book  in New York City on Wednesday, May 8, 6:30pm – 8:00pm.  

I will help celebrate the grand opening of the Regus’ first-ever, ground level Business Lounge, 747 Third Avenue in New York City, which is conveniently located in Midtown at 46th and Third.

I will share my newest thinking about work+life flexibility–where we are, where it’s going, what people and businesses need to do better and smarter for flexible work success.

AND, if you are one of the first 50 attendees, you will receive a complimentary signed copy of my new book, TWEAK IT: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day!  

This event could not happen at a better time.

The incredible news firestorm around Yahoo’s and Best Buy’s decision to end their work-from-home policies got the whole country thinking about the notion of being able to work more flexibly.  From the C-suite to front line managers in charge of a stressed and exhausted workforce, the conversation around the “new way to work” has never been more top of mind.

There are even bottom line issues for companies to consider – “if I create more opportunities for people to work from anywhere, can I trim by real estate costs?” not to mention employee retention and improved morale.

Why is Regus sponsoring this event?  Regus has also been a champion of working flexibly since the late 1980s, and has locations in 600 cities in nearly 100 countries.   And they believe the new Business Lounge will be life-changing for any New Yorker looking for a professional alternative to coffee shops and make-shift offices for less than the cost of a daily latte.

I agree!  Check it out, get a book, and say “hi.”  Hope to see you, your friends, your colleagues there.

My “Tweak of the Week” for April 15th. Share Yours!

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How are you going to tweak the way work fits into your life this week and make what matters happen over the next seven days?

Check out this brief two-minute video where I share my “tweaks of the week” for the week of April 15th.

I want to hear from you!

We tried the LIVE Facebook hangout on Monday’s at lunch time, but I got feedback that’s not a good time because people don’t feel comfortable logging into Facebook at work (makes sense).

So, let’s try again…

Join me SUNDAY EVENING April 21st from 8:00-8:30 pm est LIVE on our Facebook page, to:

  • Celebrate what you did accomplish this week
  • Share one or two small actions with big impact you are going to make part of your work+life fit next week
  • Ask questions and get encouragement to stay on track!

Share your tweaks for this week any time on Twitter.  Use hashtag #mytweaks and cc. me @caliyost.  I will give you  a personal shout-out!

Remember, without clocks and walls to tell us where work ends and the other parts of life begin, if you want to make what matters to you happen every day…just TWEAK IT!

 

My standards tweaks for the week of April 15:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My unique tweaks for the week of April 15:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Make Personal Finance Part of Your Busy, Everyday Work+Life Fit

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Next Monday is Tax Day. And, for many, it’s the annual reminder that, “I really need to pay more attention to my money.” 

But good intentions get lost in the everyday busyness of work and life unless we make personal financial management an ongoing, deliberate part of our weekly TWEAK IT practice.

Thankfully, TWEAK IT Personal Finance Expert, Manisha Thakor, can get us started!

Manisha Thakor is the founder of MoneyZen Wealth Management LLC and the author of a number of terrific personal finance books.

Her accessible and understandable approach to money is, “If we simplify our finances, we simplify our life.”

Recently, I spoke to Manisha about the steps we can take to manage our personal finances better and smarter.  Here are highlights of our brief, but very insightful conversation:

  • After candidly sharing a couple of personal financial challenges that I face, Manisha explains how to get around these common roadblocks.
  • In addition to the terrific personal finance “tweaks” she offers in the book and on the www.tweakittogether.com site, Manisha shares an important, powerful small step we can all take this week to improve our personal financial well-being.
  • Finally, as a busy entrepreneur, Manisha talks about the one small step she makes part of her weekly routine that has improved her sense of well-being and order.

I hope you learn as much from our conversation as I did.

To find out more about Manisha Thakor and her Money Zen personal financial management philosophy, check out www.moneyzen.com.

 

Remember, if you want to make what matters to you happen every day, just TWEAK IT!

 

 

Your “Tweaks” for the Week of April 8th? Here are Mine! (video)

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How are you going to tweak the way work fits into your life this week to make what matters happen every day?

Check out this brief two minute video where I share my “tweaks of the week” for the week of April 8th, and tell the story behind the scary picture of me below!

Now I want to hear from you! Join me TODAY, Monday, April 8th from 12:30-1:00pm est LIVE on our Facebook page, to:

  • Celebrate what you did accomplish last week
  • Share one or two small actions with big impact you are going to make part of your work+life fit this week
  • Ask questions and get encouragement to stay on track!
Or, share your tweaks for this week any time on Twitter.  Use hashtag #mytweaks and cc. me @caliyost. I will see it and give you a shout out!

 

Just TWEAK IT! 

My standard tweaks for the week of April 8th:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I didn’t make it to the fundraiser last week…proof that I needed a shower after the gym! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming to a City Near You! Join Me LIVE in April and May!

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If you want to learn more about strategic work flexibility and TWEAK IT the modern work+life fit skill we all need by few of us have to capture and use that flexibility, please join me LIVE at one of the following venues in April and May.

If you don’t see your city listed, I’d love to visit your town and spend time with your group.  Click here for more information.

2013 Invent Your Future Silicon Valley Conference 4/24/13

 

 

 

 

 

APA Work & Well-Being 2013: Chicago 4/26/13

 

 

 

 

 

CHPA 2013 Regulatory, Scientific and Quality Conference 5/2/13

 

 

 

 

It’s Not About “Balance”–Your Work-Life Can Be “Flexible” –Regus’ Office 747 Third Avenue, NYC

 

 

 

The Conference Board’s Women’s Leadership Conference 2013 

 

 

 

 

 

Work+Life Fit Named “Best of the Net” By Working Mother!

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Thank you Working Mother!  We are honored.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Is It “Flex+Strategy Group” AND “Work+Life Fit Inc.” ?

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(This article appeared in our weekly email newsletter. Click here to get your copy delivered to your mailbox.) 

We all have those moments when we realize that something so obvious to us is unclear to others.  It happened to me the other day when the organizer of an event at which I am speaking said, “Why is your company called the Flex+Strategy Group / Work+Life Fit, Inc.?”

I love it when people ask this question, because it gives me an opportunity to explain the intentional symbolism behind the name. So in case you are also curious, here’s what I said:

Flex+Strategy / Work+Life Fit is the partnership that organizations and individuals need to create for flexible work to succeed.  You can’t have one without the other.

It’s “Flex+Strategy” for business because flexibility in how, where and when work is done needs to be executed as part of organization’s overall plan to achieve its goals.

Unfortunately, a majority of leaders and employees don’t see work flexibility as a core strategy to get the job done and manage their lives. In most cases, it’s still perceived to be an optional, nice-to-have, perk or benefit. (2011 Work+Life FIt Reality Check). The goal of “Flex+Strategy” is to position work flexibility where it rightfully belongs so that both the business and people can benefit.

People can’t manage their work and life, day-to-day and at major transitions, if they don’t have flexibility in how, when and/or where they do their job, which brings us to “Work+Life Fit” for individuals.

If we stopped at “Flex+Strategy,” it would reinforce the outdated bias that organizations and managers need to do all of the heavy lifting when it comes to making work flexibility a success.  That’s not accurate, but again that’s what most of us think. According to the 2011 Work+Life Fit Reality Check, 73% of respondents answered “true” to the statement, “work life flexibility is only possible if my employer and/or boss provide it.”

The reality is that your employer or boss can’t “give” you flexibility.  They can support it as a core strategy (see above). But then it is up to each of us to capture what is available and use it to manage the unique fit between our responsibilities on and off the job, every day and at major life transitions.

In other words, your employer and boss can support working from home periodically, but they can’t tap you on the shoulder and say, “You know what. You need to get that leaky pipe in the basement fixed.  Why don’t you work from home tomorrow and meet the plumber,” or “You must be thinking about retirement soon.  Why don’t you put together a proposal to continue working as a consultant for the group?”

Initiating a plan that makes sense and then understanding how to coordinate, collaborate, and communicate responsibly to get the job gets done is up to us. This is a modern skill set we all need, but most of us don’t have. The good news is we can learn.

Organizations must directly link work flexibility and business strategy, and everyone needs to learn how to partner with their manager, customers, colleagues and family members for flexible work success, on and off the job. That’s why we are the “Flex+Strategy Group / Work+Life Fit, Inc.”

And with that the event organizer replied, “Got it.”

Do you have a question you want to ask or a comment you want to share? Connect with us in the way that is most comfortable for you:

• Comment on the Work+Life Fit blog
• Follow me on Twitter @caliyost
• Like our Facebook page
• Connect with me on Google+
• Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Secrets to Success in a Big Change: “Tweak It” on the TODAY Show

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By harnessing the power of the small stuff, we can make it through the big stuff.  When facing a big change, the simple weekly TWEAK IT practice restores a sense of control in what can feel like overwhelming chaos.

That was the advice I shared when I recently appeared on the TODAY Show with career coach, Maggie Mistal.  Two years ago, I helped Maggie deal with the early, unexpected arrival of her son, Mercer, when she was only 27 weeks pregnant and on vacation in Miami.

Suddenly, Maggie and her husband, Craig, found themselves in an unfamiliar city, trying to take care of their fragile new son, work, find a place to live and take care of themselves.

They had to become their own advocates, and focus on the small, everyday victories–or “tweaks” that created the foundation of everyday well-being and order they needed.  And, thankfully, today Mercer is a happy, healthy, thriving two-year old.

Watch the segment to hear Maggie’s inspiring story and to learn the four tips for “tweaking” your way through a big change and beyond.

(Fun bonus: Around 1:46 minutes you can see my husband outside the TODAY show window in the bushes!)

For more, I invite you to connect with my on Twitter @caliyost and “Like” our Facebook page.

What’s the Future of Workplace Flexibility? (Minnesota Public Radio)

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I recently appeared on Minnesota Public Radio’s “The Daily Circuit” to discuss the current state of flexibility in the workplace following the announcements that Yahoo had discontinued formal telework, and Best Buy no longer supported its Results Only Work Environment.

I talked about how my new book, TWEAK IT: Make What Matters to You Happen Every Day, is the modern skill set that everyone needs, but few people have, to meet their employer halfway for flexible work success.

It was a very interesting conversation.  Listen and tell me what you think.

For more, I invite you to connect with me on Twitter @caliyost and “Like” our Facebook page