Cali Yost, author of Work+Life, and Fast Company blogger, contends that “using strategic work+life flexibility can help organizations avoid at least some layoffs. Reduced schedules, sabbaticals, telecommuting and flexible scheduling are not just isolated, downsizing tactics. They are part of a broad, coordinated growth and cost-cutting business strategy with multiple benefits that include, but are not limited to, creative downsizing.” A study of 100 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) co-sponsored by her company reveals that CFOs are using strategic flexibility to reduce their workforce without severing ties with employees.

According to Yost, “…nearly one third of CFOs used flexibility as a workforce reduction strategy, allowing them to stay connected to employees through contract project-based work, reduced hours with full-benefits and sabbaticals with full benefits.”

Yost urges employers to consider working flexibly before considering layoffs. She shares an example of a company that found a creative way to deal with dwindling budgets and minimize employee suffering. In 2008, Sigma, a full-service advertising agency in New Jersey, asked its employees to consider part-time hours or monthly sabbaticals as a way to avoid layoffs. “When given the choice, Sigma found employees were more than willing to take time and a reduction in pay, rather than leave the company,” said Yost.

These are tough times. None of us wants to take a pay cut. But earning less may be better than earning nothing.

Extracted from original at Business Lexington website.

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