Earlier this October, San Francisco made an authoritative step forward in promoting work-life balance by approving the San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance. Effective January 1, the ordinance will make workplace flexibility requests an employee right. This marks the first time a U.S. city has mandated flexible workplace arrangements.
Under the ordinance, an employee will be able to make requests for special situations like changes in start times, part-time and part-year schedules, telecommuting and other caregiving arrangements. Employers are required to meet with the employee within 21 days of the request and provide a written response. If an employer wishes to deny a request, they must give details for their reasoning.
I’m excited to hear of a city that values workplace flexibility enough to pass such legislation, even if it is a bit of a reactive policy for a standing issue of keeping families in San Francisco. I have to wonder though just how effective this kind of regulation will be. I think that having a good work-life balance is an intrinsic right of every employee. At the same time, we have to remember that each workplace is unique, and there can be many different roads that lead to the same end of happier, more engaged employees.
Organizational Development Consultant at ModernThink