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Speaker:  Jack J. Phillips, Ph.D. | Chairman, ROI Institute, Inc.

Several different formats of flexible work systems have been in operation for years. The basic format is to provide employees with flexible work hours or to allow them to work at home or telecommute one or two days of the week. Other options include employees sharing their desks with their colleagues or working at home most days with an occasional workday at the office through a reservation system. More organizations are opting for allowing employees to work at home every day therefore reducing the cost of office space. This is particularly helpful in the knowledge industry where the work can be conducted virtually anywhere. Technology companies suggest that employees can now work in any place, at any time, with no problems.

From the employer perspective, a huge ROI for telecommuting programs can be achieved if office space is given up. Recent studies show major improvements in terms of productivity, retention, absenteeism, and cost savings with real estate. From the employee perspective, this is a definite win with increased flexibility, lower costs, reduced stress, improved work-life balance, and more convenience. Given our congested cities and traffic problems, this seems like a good solution. Environmentalists say that this is the number one action an organization can take to positively impact the environment, and politicians are now being elected on the promise of reducing congested traffic.

But wait, there are barriers to making these arrangements work, such as manager resistance. After all, managers must see the employees to know they are working, right? There is a lack of trust. Managers may also lack the preparation to manage remotely. Telecommuting may make employees feel a sense of loneliness and lack of engagement with the team and organization. Some employees may feel that their careers will suffer, or they will miss out on important opportunities if they work from home.

When these factors are considered and addressed properly as programs are designed, flexible work systems will be a win for the organization, the employees, the environment, and political leaders. This session traces when and how these kinds of programs can be developed, what steps can be taken to show their value, and even how to prepare an impact and ROI forecast before they are implemented.

In this session you will:

  • Explore when and how flexible work systems can be developed
  • Determine what steps can be taken to show their value
  • Forecast the impact and ROI of flexible work systems prior to investing


  • Communication
  • Business Acumen
  • Critical Evaluation