What is Flex Day you ask? Flex Day is apart of National Work and Family month and is an opportunity for everyone to highlight the importance of flexible working schedules, whether you work for a company or for yourself. This is an issue near and dear to my heart as I finish up my 3rd week back at work from maternity leave. With the support and guidance of NextSpace I was able to take 4 months leave to birth and care for my daughter and now I’m returning to work on a flexible hourly schedule that allows me to slowly transition from full-time mommy back to a full-time NextSpace employee. Am I exhausted but learning to multi-task like never before (aka nursing while talking on the phone and writing emails)? You bet I am! And even though I’m feeling frazzled as I write this (does this baby ever sleep!?!), I’m still incredibly grateful because I know the average working American is not afforded the same kinds of options that I am.
According to Think Progress, out of 185 countries the U.S. is one of three that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave (the other two are Papua New Guinea and Oman.) Meanwhile, over half of the countries that do guarantee paid leave provide at least 14 weeks. What’s up with that America? Some companies (Change.org, for example) are taking matters in to their own hands, creating generous family leave policies and encouraging others to do the same. Lucky for me NextSpace is one of those and has both a paid maternity leave policy AND a flexible work schedule policy. Obviously work life balance is a concept that NextSpace takes seriously, and as a result I take my job seriously (but not myself of course!).
But hey, kids (and maternity leave) shouldn’t be the only reason you adjust your work schedule to fit your life. Everyone needs a healthy ratio of screen time to actual face time, which is why coworking is so awesome. NextSpace, and many other coworking spaces, allow 24/7 access, meaning you can work when you want and still have time for that dinner party (or tea party if you’re a working parent.) Or perhaps you’re a puppy parent and you need a flexible working environment that allows you to cowork with your dog. Yep, many coworking spaces also allow for coworking pets, which has been proven to reduce stress and create a happier workplace. And speaking of happier workplace, do you work alone and find yourself asking the refrigerator for feedback? As we at NextSpace like to put it, working alone sucks! Join a coworking space and see an increase in productivity and a decrease in one-sided conversations. But don’t take my word for it, there’s a whole study to back me up. Seriously, the benefits are too numerous to name which is why I’m thrilled to work for a company that is at the forefront of it all. (Did i mention we do coworking and childcare too? Yep, its called NextKids and it’s revolutionizing the way parents get work done.)
So thank you NextSpace. Thanks for being a leader, not only in coworking and the revolution of work, but also in fostering a healthy work life balance for your employees. Way to walk your talk. I’m certainly glad you chose this route over offering to freeze my eggs.
-Meaghen Liebe, Marketing Manager, NextSpace Coworking & Innovation