More Upsides To The Downswing

If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that, for the most part, people don’t usually do things until they are forced to. Yes, there are always some generous people who make decisions for other reasons, but when it comes down to it, business tends to be business – and forget about really caring for the individual.

Such is the way it is regarding our culture’s resistance to better family/work balance. Productivity and efficiency (or at least 20th Century ideas of these things) still prevail – and yet, it’s possible this recession may alter this behavior.

In today’s New York Times there’s an article about how some companies are avoiding layoffs by some implementing different strategies, among them: four day work weeks and flexible work schedules. In other words, companies are shifting to these policies not because they see the benefit to their workers but because they have no alternative aside from layoffs.

It’s not a rosy article, but the potential upside is that perhaps some of these work policy shifts might stick even after things settle down, which would be a great step forward in our corporate culture regarding family/work balance. I’m hopeful. Only time will tell…

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