AWE -- Alliance for Workplace Excellence
Supporting Workplaces that Benefit Employees, Communities and the Environment
2012 Q & A
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QUESTION: In today's 24/7 global economy the mindset of successful organization focuses on virtual work and a culture of flexibility. Please share your success stories:


AtSite Inc.

AtSite provides a flexible schedule and environment for its employees. To their supervisor’s discretion, employees are usually granted the opportunity to at times work remote, and are offered resources for off-site communication and work. AtSite also offers pre-tax commute incentives for employees who wish to use public transportation.

BDO USA, LLP

Technology and globalization have transformed "work" into a 24/7 reality by eliminating the traditional boundaries around work and our everyday lives. BDO knows that employees who work in flexible environments report significantly higher levels of satisfaction, performance, commitment and loyalty than those with low levels of flexibility. Resulting in a new outlook on work+life fitTM, BDO Flex has changed individual beliefs and assumptions about the workplace in a way that benefits our firm, clients and employees. At BDO, flexibility comes in all shapes and sizes depending on the job and the person, but the results are the same: mutually beneficial solutions involving a mixture of formal arrangements with informal day-to-day flexibility. Our approach to flexibility connects how we think about career options, recruiting, workflow management, resource sharing, technology and many other elements critical to our firm’s success in today's 24/7, high-tech, global work reality. BDO Flex is available to help everyone at the firm achieve the optimal work+life fit to meet personal demands as well as the needs of the firm. Rather than using standard policy boundaries to define flexibility, our work+life fit strategy: • Promotes dialogue to create arrangements that meet the needs of our people, clients and firm • Provides tools and information that help people use and manage workplace flexibility • Aligns internal practices and policies to enhance support for workplace flexibility • Encourages daily conversations and attitudes that reflect open communications and problem-solving ideas • Supports the long-term development of highly motivated, energized and dedicated employees throughout their personal lives and professional careers Please visit our website at the link below for BDO Flex success stories: http://www.bdo.com/about/bdoflex/success-stories.aspx Work+life fit is a registered trademark of Work+Life Fit, Inc.

Booz Allen Hamilton

Our “Way We Work” strategic initiative to better leverage work arrangements (including remote delivery, teleworking, hoteling, and internal job transfers) has been a tremendous benefit to staff and the environment. As part of the plan—which had a light launch in 2009, gained momentum in 2010, and had an even greater impact in 2011—we are moving staff out of our multi-building campus headquarters as building leases expire, moving staff into new or expanded facilities across the Washington Metro Area, and instituting hoteling models in offices across the US. The initiative realigns staff to offices closest to their home zip codes, so staff are working closer to their families. The dramatic commute reduction has been widely cited as among the most popular and welcome new elements of our work-life satisfaction efforts.

CollabraSpace., Inc.

We do provide a flexible work schedule and allow a virtual work environment whenever possible.

Decision Lens

Decision Lens has a company philosophy that a work-life balance creates a better environment with happier employees that translates to happier customers and company growth and profitability. Many companies drive their employees like slaves on a treadmill – our belief is that some “air” is always required in the business. “Air” is flexibility for down-time after an especially hard push to get things done; the ability for an employee to make their own decisions about when they need to head home to take care of a sick child or get involved in the community or other interests of theirs, etc. There is a natural progression to how people work – it isn’t just always one level of “on” with an upward arc. It is more of a series of waves, where you push and then need some time to recover. That concept is built into the business. We also have the Decision Lens Health and Wellness program that we just implanted this past January. This program, different than many companies health and wellness programs, takes 1% of profitability and reinvests that for the employees to use towards gym memberships, sneakers, club teams, fees to enter races, etc. This will be augmented with more standard on-site health evaluations, etc.

Dynaxys, LLC

Dynaxys has found that in order to maintain a safe, happy and healthy workforce, telecommuting is not a viable option for the company at this time. While some members of management do have the ability to telecommute, we prefer to see the smiling faces of our employees in the office.

Federal Realty Investment Trust

Due to the nature of our business, not everyone is able to take advantage of a virtual work environment. The employee's whose job duties don't allow them to work in a virtual environment do enjoy a wide range of flexibility with regard to their work hours. This flexibility and the ability for some employees to work virtually is something that is growing within our company and contributes to their work and personal successes, resulting in longer retention of our employees. Our culture emphasizes the importance of maintaining a work/life balance and we encourage our employees to work hard and play hard.

Honest Tea

We believe that if you need to wait home for the plumber or take care of a child that's what you do; you have email and phone and you can sell or market tea from almost anywhere!

Human Genome Sciences, Inc.

HGS has had a telecommuting policy in place for a number of years. In addition to the flexibility that our policy and culture allows, our technology is state-of-the art, allowing for remote collaboration across the company. Where the business priorities allow, some departments have employees who work from home just as often as or more frequently than they are in the office. In 2011, we easily assimilated our new field sales force, several remote employees, European employees in four different countries, and a new (remote) member to our senior leadership team into our daily workflow.

IntelliDyne, LLC

As a company that rewards and encourages innovation, we recognize that traditional work environments and schedules do not always support the needs of our employees or our clients. IntelliDyne managers are encouraged to work with their teams to identify schedules and telecommuting options that maximize productivity, best support the client, and accommodate the needs of the employee. Therefore, IntelliDyne provides our employees with the infrastructure to enable them to work remotely and telecommute if their position allows. Employees can access files, systems and the company intranet through VPN access. In addition to the technology we provide, to accommodate our employees’ work-life balance, many non-shift employees are able to take advantage of a flexible start or end time to accommodate their personal or family obligations.

Loiederman Soltesz Associates, Inc.

While Loiederman Soltesz Associates, Inc. does not have telecommuting available to employees at this time, we are very flexible and understand the demands on employees outside of work. Some employees have schedules that fall outside of the regular 8 am – 5 pm business hours to help accommodate their commute or family needs.

Mental Health Association of Montgomery County

Mental Health Association (MHA) is dedicated to providing a balanced work-life environment for staff. Starting at the top, with Sharon Friedman, our CEO who has led the agency toward that balance. Family is very important and equally important is taking time for one’s self, both of which are made possible through holidays that are given to staff, including a Birthday, Summer Day and a Holiday Shopping Day to appreciate and acknowledge all of the hard work that is put forth. Ultimately, these perks generate high levels of commitment and motivation within the agency. Leadership actively participates in many activities both internally and within the community, while striving to meet the overall needs and goals of the organization. An open door policy provides staff with a comfort level in expressing their ideas, opinions and concerns. MHA functions very well as a team, working toward a common goal. Teams need leaders that can absorb, understand and consider ideas and points of view from other people, which are traits demonstrated in our management team. Mental Health Association (MHA) delivers an annual Performance Evaluation form that incorporates management accountability for workplace excellence and identifies performance factors that more closely align with the agency’s strategic goals. MHA’s operating principals; management accountability and culture of inclusion are the foundations of the organization’s success. The agency’s commitment to diversity, both inside and outside of the organization, is demonstrated by the percentage of minority staff (44%) and by community outreach that includes diversity awareness workshops, acculturation groups and a successful multicultural internship program. A variety of staff development programs as well as ongoing “stretch” assignments and cross-functional duties serve as the basis for promotional opportunities that help to retain emerging leaders. In addition, an improved focus on program measurements & evaluation has been emphasized for employees at all levels. The agency's strategic goal, "Become a role model for other nonprofit organizations in creating work-life balance," establishes the objective for all members of the management team. Program Directors are encouraged to support personal and professional balance not only for their staff members but also for themselves and are held accountable to partner with others to achieve this goal. Telecommuting options, flexible work hours, gradual return to work programs and support for community volunteerism serve as excellent examples of this commitment. Unsolicited employee feedback and community recognition provide compelling evidence that MHA's strong focus on management accountability benefit both the employees and the agency's bottom-line success.

Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union

At Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union, we strive to provide innovative products and services to our members and this sometimes this requires us to think beyond the borders of our county. This past year, we hired an employee with a very unique skill set but she lives in Georgia. As a result, we set up a virtual office for her so she could continue to live in Georgia while performing much needed services to our members here in Montgomery County.

The MITRE Corporation

MITRE’s Flexible Work Arrangements policy supports diversity by allowing the company to attract and keep talented employees who might not otherwise be able to stay with MITRE for personal or family reasons. MITRE’s almost 500 employees with flexible work arrangement agreements make significant contributions to MITRE teams from locations around the globe. Thomas J. Restivo, senior principal cost analyst, has been a teleworker since 1996, making him one of the first official teleworkers at MITRE. In that time, Restivo has had opportunities to support a wide array of sponsors and programs from multiple locations across the country. “The support from both my center and MITRE corporate has been amazingly positive from the beginning,” said Restivo. MITRE’s technology allows its knowledge workers to work from virtually anywhere. An example was during “Snowmagedon,” MITRE was able to stay open when most other businesses were closed.

Ryan, LLC

Ryan has established itself as a go-to leader in the area of work-life balance, especially with other consulting firms that are about to take the flexibility plunge and need guidance from a company that has successfully navigated the waters. Over the past three years, Ryan has won numerous awards for its unique approach to workplace flexibility, frequently shares its case studies at conferences and professional gatherings, and has been featured and quoted in numerous publications. In 2011, Ryan features and quotes about workplace flexibility appeared in hardcopy and on-line publications such as Workforce Management, Christian Science Monitor, Wall Street Journal, CNNMoney, and Monster.com. Everyone at Ryan participates in “myRyan” which includes more than 925 employees globally. The program is integral to our culture and is founded on the following core principles: • Everyone focuses on results, not hours • People have flexible work schedules and locations • Employees eliminate activities that waste time and money • Everyone collaborates and supports each other • Employees thrive in a guilt-free work environment • Everyone has the freedom to achieve work-life success In “myRyan”, our professionals and associates collaborate and support each other, always refining processes and methodologies to continuously improve their personal and teamwork efficiency. Everyone communicates to ensure coverage and availability, and they all work as a team to continuously improve client service and results. Everyone has the freedom to achieve work-life success and thrive in a guilt-free environment where no one is judged on when or where they work.

SAP, NS2 (National Security Services)

We have several employees that work virtually within our company and it seems to work for us. Our culture of flexibility allows us to have employees throughout the United States while still supporting contracts within the DC area. We have products/services that allow our employees to work 24/7 virtually or within our offices.

Social & Scientific Systems, Inc.

SSS considers telecommuting to be a viable alternative work arrangement in cases in which job characteristics are suited to such an arrangement. Telecommuting is a voluntary work alternative that may be appropriate for some employees and some jobs. Our telework program has provided very few challenges, and those challenges presented were easily addressed. The company also made an investment in buying additional equipment for telecommuters to enhance off-site network access. With our commitment to work/life balance—and our committed effort in recruiting and retaining top-notch employees, we will continue to offer these flexible commuting options.

Suntiva

Suntiva is committed to its employees and the environment in which they work. Where applicable, we have the infrastructure to support teleworking and other flexible arrangements. We offer flexible work schedules whenever possible to all employees. Many of our employees take full advantage of this benefit. Suntiva offers part-time employment along with flexible work schedule in order to help accommodate family needs. We provide capabilities such as teleconferencing, skype accounts, webinars and a SharePoint site to support employees with the systems and processes to do their jobs effectively. Employees can maintain access to relevant information and can stay connected with one another while working from home. This helps to create an environment that is well balanced between work and life. We also recognize that while virtual workplaces are necessary, it is still important to have face-to-face communication with all of our employees. Suntiva holds an annual All-Hands meeting once a year which brings all of our employees together to have a chance to participate in company planned strategic meetings. This also gives the employees a chance to network with each other and to share ideas.

United Educators

45 percent of our employees telework two or more days a week. In addition, we have established core hours of 10 am to 3 pm for which employees need to be available for meetings, but start and departure times can vary by employee around those hours. We have employees who start the day at 7 am and others who start at 10 am.

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