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President Obama signals shift to flexibility

America's Number One Homeworker gives presidential direction for flexible work

Barack Obama has given the clearest endorsement ever by any world leader of the value of flexible working.  And his administration is going to lead by example in implementing flexibility.

In an address to the White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility on March 31st, President Obama set out his view that workplace flexibility is essential for meeting the priorities of society and promoting economic growth.  After speaking about his own family's work-life balance issues, he went on to tell delegates:

"Workplace flexibility isnít just a womenís issue. Itís an issue that affects the well-being of our families and the success of our businesses. It affects the strength of our economy -- whether weíll create the workplaces and jobs of the future we need to compete in todayís global economy".

The President was introduced by John Berry, Director of the US Office of Personnel Management, as the 'Teleworker-in-Chief', and a man who is

'connected wherever he goes: he's able to work from Ohio in the morning, Washington in the afternoon, and on the plane in between. He and his staff expect to be reachable anywhere, so work can go on wherever they are. And he still has time to watch his daughters play basketball'

Watch the President's address below.  The video starts with OPM Director John Berry, who introduces the President about 3 minutes 50 into the video.

April 2010

How did the President do?

Here at Flexibility we warmly welcome the US administration embracing flexible working.  It has to be the way forward.

The President didn't really say anything very new, but showed a real grasp of the issues and that he personally identifies with them.

Most of all, the fact of his saying it and this clear top level support gives lot of hope that there will be real progress in the years ahead.  It's the kind of top level endorsement that all flexible working initiatives need.



President Obama made it clear that he recognises the business benefits:

"We believe that all of this isnít just about providing a better work experience for our employees, itís about providing better, more efficient service for the American people -- even in the face of snowstorms and other crises that keep folks from getting to the office.  I do not want to see the government close because of snow again. 

Itís about attracting and retaining top talent in the federal workforce and empowering them to do their jobs, and judging their success by the results that they get -- not by how many meetings they attend, or how much face-time they log, or how many hours are spent on airplanes. Itís about creating a culture where, as Martha Johnson [head of the General Services Administration] puts it, 'Work is what you do, not where you are.' "

You can read the full transcript here.


"I do not want to see the government close because of
snow again"


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