Now that the recession is officially over, companies have breathed a collective sigh of relief.  Most, however, are still trying to figure out how to do more with less.

One of the pioneers leading this charge is Cali Yost, of Work + Life Fit Inc.  She is an author and a consultant to companies large and small about how to create a process to help you rethink how work gets done.

One of her key points is:

“How do you move the cultural conversation and mindset about work, life and business growth to match the realities of today’s ‘always on,’ ‘do more with less’ global, competitive reality that affects all of us.”

That’s a mouthful, but one that is similar to what we hear often from scheduling managers and workers.  Do more with less.  From the senior team at 10,000 employee companies to the owner of an 80+ person staffing firm, companies continue trying to grow in a tough economy.

Self scheduling

Our company founder often talks about bottoms-up scheduling as one way to do more with less.  If you give workers some autonomy, they will help you get more done because worrying about their schedule will be off your plate – they can do it themselves, quite well.  His idea and question is that as a culture we have gotten used to managing and running our personal lives online, why not our work lives?

People seek to have some control of their work day and in many cases the recession has forced it on them.  They might now choose to keep 2 or 3 jobs, if they can juggle the scheduling of them, instead of having one major job that forces them into a 9-5 pattern.  And one that leaves them vulnerable when that one job goes away in a layoff or company shutdown.

Research to guide workplace decision making

Yost’s site has a research section which I found useful, especially a 2009 Study entitled: 

Flexibility in the Recession

Yost is finding that flexibility is slowly growing as a business strategy and not just some sort of informal perk.  Flexibility is not simply allowing flexible hours or a shorter work week; it is much more than that.  Work Life Fit worked with BDO Seidman on a study of Chief Financial Officers and perceptions about what is often called work-life balance, but perhaps erroneously so because many studies have argued that balance isn’t possible.  More than 50 percent of CFOs surveyed believed that work life flexibility improved employee productivity, among several other benefits, too.

Indeed, Cali Williams Yost named her firm in a way that implies finding a blend of work and life which recognizes that one might win out over the other at different times of the year or over a lifetime.  We are glad we found her work and site.

As we explore and expand new definitions of work and life, we are finding Shiftboard customers recognize that they need online and offline tools to help them in this new frontier, this new workplace.   Tools and applications that are a flexible as they need to be in helping their workers, their volunteers be productive and effective.  Scheduling software is one of those tools.

-TJ M