W+LFit-In the News

Work-life does not imply age, gender, or parenthood

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I was honored when the The Boston Globe asked me to contribute to “The Work Issue” they published this past weekend in honor of Labor Day.

The article, “Work-life does not imply age, gender, or parenthood,” included graphic highlights (above) of results from the recent national study we conducted in partnership with ORC International.

Key points I make in the OpEd:

Recent news events — reported abuses by employees at the US Patent and Trademark Office, Yahoo’s high-profile pullback in 2013 — may suggest otherwise, but research shows that remote work has become a fundamental way that a surprisingly large percentage of the American workforce gets their jobs done. Now organizations, managers, and individuals must catch up.

We need to de-parent, de-gender, and de-age the perception of the flexible worker. Among the respondents who said they did most of their work from a remote location, nearly three out of four were men. Further, there was no significant difference between remote workers with or without kids, and no significant difference in the age groups of remote workers.

If we can no longer isolate telework neatly into demographic boxes, that means we all need to acquire a new skill set to use telework to get our jobs done — and manage the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, in that same study, a majority of workers — nearly 60 percent — received no training on how to manage their work-life flexibility, and this lack of guidance made them feel like their boss had all the control.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

What do you think?  Have we reached the tipping point where telework has become a fundamental way we get our jobs done, regardless of gender, parenting status and age?

I invite you to connect with me on Twitter @caliyost and Facebook.

“Want to Work Less?” All Hands Go Up. “But, You’ll Make Less Money” Most Hands Go Down

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Suddenly, it seems everywhere you look another billionaire is promoting a reduced workweek.  I recently appeared on WSJ Live to share my thoughts on the trend (scroll down to view the clip–I make my main points at 3:35).

While I believe their motivations are valid, these moguls need to understand that it will not be easy to make their vision a reality.  Some major hurdles stand in their way.

First, who is saying what?

Latin American telecom tycoon, Carlos Slim, is extolling the virtues of the three-day workweek, while the founders of Google are discussing the benefits of splitting one full-time job into many part-time jobs.

Why?  They have identified real challenges that could, in theory, be addressed through the collective reduction in the amount of time we work each week.

For Slim, the challenge is how to help people stay healthy so they can extend the number of years they are able to remain in the paid workforce.

For the founders of Google, the challenge is how to address the potential mass-displacement of workers by technology (e.g driverless cars, etc.), a not-so-distant reality recently described in an oped by respected Silicon Valley insider, Vivek Wadhwa.

Sounds good…but not that simple

Translating what may sound good on paper into action is not going to be easy for the following reasons:

People can’t afford to make less money.  If you ask a room full of people if they’d like to work fewer hours a week, almost every hand will go up.  However, if you add, “…but you will make less money” most hands will go down.

Bottom line: most people can’t afford to work less.  Therefore, any discussion of a reduced workweek must address financial reality, especially since individuals are being asked to shoulder more of the expense and risk of retirement and health care.

Workplace legislation and management infrastructure are based on a 35-to-40 hour workweek.  Any change in the standard workweek would require major legislative, HR policy and accounting regulation updates and overhauls.

For example, today overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act is calculated based on a 40 hour workweek. Would that change or stay the same?

In most organizations, compensation and benefits, such as health care, retirement contributions, and vacation are calculated based on a 35 or 40-hour full-time workweek.

In terms of accounting, internal head count cost allocations in most organizations are also based upon a full-time, 40-hour workweek.  That means if an employee works part-time the system still charges the business unit overhead for a full-time worker. It’s not prorated. If you hire another part-time worker, that’s another full head count.

How do you deploy more people working fewer days/hours and remain responsive and competitive in a global economy?  This won’t be as big an issue for less human capital intensive, or highly localized industries, but for service industries with customers in many time zones, a reduced workweek will require more complex coordination and communication across people, teams and shifts.  Managers will have to break their addiction to management by face-time.

Carlos Slim and the founders of Google have identified very real challenges.  They should be applauded for starting an important conversation.  But any wholesale reduction or reconfiguration of the workweek will require new approaches to compensation, updated employment legislation, and revised team management processes, benefits calculations and internal cost accounting rules to succeed.  That will be a heavy lift.

What do you think about the growing interest in reducing the workweek on a broader scale?  Does it have merit?  Could it really work?

TODAY Show #DoingItAll Series–Links, Highlights and Gratitude

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What an exciting week!

It was an honor to participate in the #DoingItAll series on the TODAY Show in support of Maria Shriver’s important, groundbreaking, The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink.

Many of you have asked for links to the segments and key takeaways…so here you go!

Tuesday: Two Amazing Women #DoingItAll

First, on Tuesday, I worked with two truly remarkable women who epitomize what it means to “do it all.”

Both of these women approach the challenges in their lives with courage, persistence, optimism and humor. They inspired me.

Watch and listen to their stories and my advice (video links below):

How to set productive boundaries: Teleworking, independent marketing consultant and single mom of two

How to ask for help and take small, doable, intentional steps: Small business owner, and single mom of three 

 

Wednesday: #DoingItAll Help-a-thon

Then, on Wednesday, a group of finance, health, legal, career and life experts gathered in the TODAY Show studios to answer questions posted by viewers on email, Twitter and Facebook.

We were there from 7 am to 12 pm est. You have not seen a more dedicated group of people. We tried our best to answer as many of the hundreds of often very difficult, emails, tweets and posts that people sent in.

In this picture, Hoda and Kathie Lee pay us a visit in the Orange Room during their show. The experts pictured (starting from the bottom left) are Dale Atkins, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Carmen Wong Ulrich, Dr. Janet Taylor.  Then in the back row (starting on the right), Dr. Roshini Raj, Valorie Burton, Lisa Bloom, and then me.

Down in the main studio were Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Sharon Epperson and Dr. Gail Saltz.  And in Washington, D.C. with Maria Shriver, were Ellen Galinsky and Jean Chatzky.

#DoingItAll Series Gratitude

As I reflect on the experience, here are the three things I am most grateful for:

Maria Shriver: I am grateful that she used her powerful platform and voice to draw attention to the realities of millions of women (and men!) who are trying to do it all under very difficult circumstances.  If you haven’t done so already, read  The Shriver Report–A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink, and take at least one or two of the “next steps” outlined in the study. (And yes, she is as smart, nice and cool in person as she appears on television.)

TODAY Show: For sharing the stories of real women who are #doingitall and then trying to connect viewers with the resources they need.

The people I met who truly care and want to make a difference: From Maria Shriver, to the TODAY Show producers, to the experts participating in the Help-a-thon, to the participants in The Atlantic’s day-long symposium streamed live yesterday, people care. Individually, we may be limited in what we can do, but together we can make a difference. And it starts with caring…I saw that in spades.

Finally, as I prepared for the segments and the Help-a-thon, I thought about what I wished everyone knew to help them manage work and life, better and smarter, in 2014.

So, stay tuned…next week I will share my “Top Ten Work+Life Fit Tips for 2014.”  And I want to hear your ideas, too!

Together, we can succeed while we’re #DoingItAll.

Want to continue the conversation between posts?  I invite you to connect with me on Twitter @caliyost and to visit/like our Facebook page.

 

8 Alumni of Columbia Business School Changing the World

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Honored to be profiled in the most recent Columbia Business School magazine as one of the “8 Alumni Who Are Changing the World” with Warren Buffet (’51), Sally Krawcheck (’92) and five other inspiring change-makers.  Thank you, CBS!

Click here for the complete article.

 

Yes, Small Biz Owners CAN Work and Have a Life Too! Tips and Challenges

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If I am completely honest, one of the primary motivations for writing TWEAK IT, was to learn how to make what mattered to me happen every day, on and off the job.

I am an entrepreneur/small business owner.  While there are many wonderful benefits to my chosen professional path, there are a few downsides.

For me, and for many small business owners I meet, one of the biggest challenges IS managing our work+life fit. 

Perhaps we have a greater degree of flexibility and control, but we often have more limited resources–time, people and money.  Therefore, it is very easy to fall into the traps like:

“I’ll just send one more email, and then have dinner with my family.” But then dinner’s over, or

“I can go to the gym tomorrow because I need to finish this proposal.”  Then you realize you haven’t moved your body in three weeks.

After researching and writing TWEAK IT and then following the simple weekly work+life fit practice myself for that last few years, I believe small business owners can work AND have a life.

We just have to be a bit more intentional about it. 

So I was thrilled when VISA Small Business approached me to be the featured expert on their Facebook page last month!

I offered entrepreneurs/small business owners seven of my best work+life fit tips and challenges.

VISA transformed them into such beautiful graphics, I had to share.

What other tips and challenges would you offer?

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge #1:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge #2:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge #3:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #1:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #2:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #3:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #4:

 

The Joyful Honor of Being One of the “40 Over 40 to Watch”

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Recognition for doing work you love is always a thrill.  But when I was named to the inaugural “40 Women Over 40 to Watch” list, I experienced a special mix of honor, excitement, humility and joy.

Here’s why:

The “40 Over 40” creators and judges.  Please take a minute to review the names of the remarkable team who created this list honoring the accomplishments of women over 40 years old–Whitney Johnson, Christina Vuleta, Jocelyn Bonneau and Molly Ford.  Then, take another moment to look at the list of judges.  To have my work recognized at any age by this impressive mix of women and men from tech, corporate, social impact, vc, media, etc…Thank you all.

The mission of the list:  As list co-creator, Whitney Johnson, noted in a recent Harvard Business Review post, the research shows that “entrepreneurs get better with age.”  All I know is that, at age 48, I feel even better than I did at 28, which was pretty good!  The list is public acknowledgement of the power that comes from growth, wisdom and experience.

The other 39 women:  WOW! Seriously.

Each winner’s “Push Page”:  This may be one of my favorite new discoveries thanks to the “40 Over 40.”  Each one of the winners was asked to create a “Push Page,” which is a social media platform on which you answer questions about yourself.  Everyone’s answers offer a fascinating, in depth, glimpse into who they are.  Check out my page…you will discover, among other things: the name of my greatest mentor; what activity I love to do but wish I was better at; what I disrupted; my first job and the favorite place I have ever traveled.

Future winners:  As soon as I read this year’s list, I couldn’t help but think of next year, and the next year.  The founders of “40 Over 40” hope to inspire younger women with role models.  If I can offer inspiration and celebrate their future success, count me in!

 

 

Why “The Third Metric” Success Conversation Has Just Started

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Last month, on June 6th, I had the honor and pleasure of speaking at Arianna Huffington and Mika Brzezinski’s inaugural “The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power” conference.  

The panel on which I spoke (above) was “Re-Working Work.”  It’s an important topic because, if we want to rethink the traditional definition of success, then the way we work and spend much of our day has to adapt and become more flexible.

I shared my thoughts about “How Success Flexibility Creates Opportunity, On and Off the Job” in a pre-conference blog post on The Huffington Post:

“I’m often asked, ‘If you had to give one piece of advice, what would it be?’ After I say, ‘See the countless possible ways work can flexibly fit into your life,’ I add, ‘But be sure that you redefine success related to money, prestige, advancement and caregiving to match the unique fit you have chosen. If you don’t, you will feel bad about the choice and give up.’

We covered a lot of territory in one day at The Third Metric conference.  And bonus: one of my quotes from the panel was included in the highlights of quotes from the day (check out slide #10)!

Speakers and attendees made headway identifying the changes that would help make physical, mental, and spiritual well-being a larger part of the way we collectively define “success.”  But the conversation is far from over.  It has just started.  Why?

Everyone gathered that day in Arianna Huffington’s beautiful apartment–from the CEO’s of large corporation (Aetna), leading doctors, entreprenuers, journalists, to the television personalities–agreed that the path we are all on is unsustainable because:

  • It’s hurting us personally.  We are stressed, sick, eating poorly, not exercising, not sleeping and not performing our best in all of the areas of our lives.
  • It’s hurting our families and friends.  We aren’t maintaining and nurturing the personal relationships that matter and renew us.
  • It’s hurting our businesses.  Health care costs are soaring and workplace engagement is at historically low levels which hurts profit.

Any criticism I read of The Third Metric conference related to a feeling that it didn’t adequately acknowledge the realities of lower income workers, especially women, who don’t have the luxury to think about these issues while trying to hold down three jobs.

I was encouraged by how many conference speakers did reinforce the often difficult day-to-day work and life realities that many, many people face.  Certainly these concerns need to remain a primary focus.  However, change and dialogue have to start somewhere, and the conversation at The Third Metric was a smart and sincere beginning.  But can’t stop at one meeting or at one group.

I am very hopeful that the passion and commitment both Huffington and Brzezinski brought to their first conference will continue to move the needle.  I look forward to seeing what they decide to do next as they encourage us all to expand our definition of success beyond simply money and power to find the modern, “third metric.”

How do you think we need to expand our definition of success beyond money and power?

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.