Redesigning Work: Making Flexibility the Solution, Not the Problem


Better work-life balance policies are not always a panacea. In American work culture, long hours at the office are seen as a sign of commitment to the job, and in high-wage work, flexibility still is often seen as an accommodation, or a gift outside the norm.

Ironically, what that’s led to in many flexible work environments, is signaling your dedication - and gratitude for the gift - by working even longer. For workers in hourly or low-skilled jobs, or in contingent or gig work, flexibility can mean schedule chaos, unpredictability and stress. So how do you design flexibility so that it works in both low wage and high wage settings? How do you not gift precious time to your employer?

Join the Better Life Lab to discuss a path forward for crafting policies and practices that support all workers in environments that promote effective work, and allow time for full, healthy lives. 


Dr. Heejung Chung, @HeejungChung
Reader in Sociology and Social Policy, University of Kent 
Principal Investigator, Work Autonomy, Flexibility and Work-Life Balance Project

Dr. Jennifer Swanberg
Professor, University of Maryland School of Social Work
Director, Work, Family & Wellbeing Research Group at the University of Maryland

Manar Morales, @ManarMorales
President & CEO, Diversity & Flexibility Alliance

Carrie Gleason, @GleasonCarrie
Director, The Fair Workweek Initiative, Center for Popular Democracy + CPD Action


Brigid Schulte, @BrigidSchulte
Director, Better Life Lab, New America