What IS “Family-Friendly,” Anyway?






It’s National Work and Family Month, and I’ve been thinking: What does it mean for a workplace to be “family friendly”? Actually, since one of my regular gigs as an “employer-of-choice” writer and consultant is helping companies with their applications for “best workplace” lists, this question arises a lot. I find it fascinating how differently it can be interpreted […]

What Else Is Lost When the Kids Have Flown…






A few weeks ago, I blogged about the empty nest and me. This week, in lieu of my usual blog post, I’ve guest-written a sort of “Empty Nest Part 2” for the fabulous 1 Million for Work Flexibility.  This time, I focus on the bigger picture—the potential ramifications of this life stage for telecommuters.  Check […]

New Perspective on the Empty Nest






My daughter graduated high school last week. By late August, she’ll be on her way to college, and, since she’s the younger of our two, I’ll be an empty-nester. The prospect of our quiet house, devoid of the wonderful chaos children (even the nearly-grown ones) leave in their wake, saddens me deeply. But I’m also […]

Helping New Moms with—Wait, a Vending Machine?






At the sprawling Johns Hopkins University and Health Care System, support for breastfeeding employees  is not just a one-off policy or accommodation, it’s a comprehensive program. And it’s been some time in the making. Johns Hopkins comprises both a string of health care facilities, including Johns Hopkins Hospital, itself, and the university, which offers undergraduate […]

6 Tips for Conquering Word Limits






Anyone who’s ever struggled to complete an application—whether for school or an award or recognition of any kind—has come up against word or character limits. Twitter aside, trying to put together the best possible answer to an open-ended question within a strictly limited space can be hugely frustrating. But it’s far from impossible. My own […]

How To Tell Your Story on a “Best Place to Work” Application






Getting on a “Best Place to Work” list is not just a matter of having great programs and practices. It’s a matter of conveying this fact to whomever is compiling the list. Application processes for these lists vary, but nearly all include at least one invitation to describe your company’s programs, policies and practices in […]

What Makes a 100 Best Company? It Depends…






Tomorrow I’m off to the Great Place to Work (GPTW) conference in San Diego. GPTW is the company that administers Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” and “50 Best Small and Medium-Size Company” lists. And although I try to make it to this conference most years, this time I’m particularly curious about it, because […]

If Your Company Feels Like Family, Maybe This is Why






Q: What’s one of the most common comments I hear from clients, when I ask them to describe their workplace? A: “We’re like family here.” Whether or not it is healthy to have a company culture that feels like family—and there are arguments on both sides—there is at least one interesting way that all organizations […]

When They Wins, We All Win






A few weeks ago, the American Dialect Society announced the 2015 Word of the Year: the singular “they.” (Lest anyone doubt the authority of the American Dialect Society, let me point out that its “word-of-the-year” event is “the word-of-the-year event up to which all others lead,” according to the—wait for it—website of the American Dialect […]

Recovering Ourselves: The Secret to True Diversity at Work






Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is upon us, and disguise is on my mind. Let me explain. I’ve been mulling over the concept of “covering”—a word that is new to me in this context but has apparently been around since 1963, when it was coined by sociologist Erving Goffman. “Covering” refers to the practice of […]

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