Build it… but will they?

By Wendy Nemitz, Founder of Ingenuity Marketing Group

A very valued team member at Ingenuity got a great offer from EY and took it. Having lunch with her a month later, she told me that she “books” a cube there for the time she will be working in the office and that, while partners have offices, many team members books a cube when they need to work in the office.

Wow. I had always heard that EY is serious about work life balance but that is amazing. We have always been VERY flexible and many of our employees say that is the number one benefit we offer. We have won several national awards for flexibility at work. But the truth is that the flexibility depends on Dawn and me. We are both mothers and have both insisted from day one that work and life have to agree. We insist on it for ourselves and it has always seemed normal to us that every other responsible professional would need the same and would figure out how to make it work.

That is a great strategy for a small company but at a large company, it could easily lose its punch from one department manager who pretends to support the policy but really makes it clear to their team that they need to be in their chairs from eight to five.

I am very impressed by the wisdom of this Big Four firm that embeds flexibility into its built environment. I would be very interested in other firms that create a cultural shift through a built environment.