New book by EJB’s Jocelyn Crowley argues for workplace flexibility to transform family life

crowley-mothers-unite-bookStory by Lisa Intrabartola for Rutgers FOCUS

When it comes to the Internet, Yahoo! President and CEO Marissa Mayer is regarded as a forward-thinker who has sped the evolution of web portals and search engines.

But in terms of workplace flexibility, the former Google geek’s decision to nix telecommuting at Yahoo! appears downright archaic to Jocelyn Elise Crowley.

“Such rules and regulations seem almost antiquated to me,” said  Crowley, a Rutgers professor of public policy and author of Mothers Unite! Organizing for Workplace Flexibility and the Transformation of Family Life (ILR Press, June 2013). “It’s just not the way I believe the trends are going.”

That Mayer, 37, was pregnant with her first child when she took the helm at Yahoo! in July and built a nursery for her infant son next to her office makes her edict all the more “shocking,” said Crowley, a professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.

Still, Crowley said she doesn’t anticipate a large-scale backlash on the advancement of workplace flexibility – quite simply, because it works. Data show job-sharing, working remotely and flexible start and stop times benefit both employees and employers, she said, increasing productivity while cutting costs and companies’ carbon footprint.

“Who cares if they’re doing it at 9 in the morning or at 5 in the evening or at 9 at night, as long as they’re producing a quality product,” she said.

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