Why Hyland is No. 2 on Fortune’s 50 Best Workplaces for Flexibility: School Bus Duty

Work life balanceThere’s a reason Fortune ranked Hyland, creator of OnBase, No. 2 on its list of the 50 Best Workplaces for Flexibility. And, allegedly, I’m a good example of that reason.

How so? Pop open my Outlook calendar on any given weekday and you’ll see a recurring 2 p.m. appointment titled: School Bus Duty.

I don’t drive a school bus. I lead a team of content strategists. Full-time work, buddy. A lot of work jam-packed into each and every day.

But because my family lives less than a mile from my 8-year-old daughter’s elementary school, the big, yellow bus doesn’t stop to pick her up. We also live too far from the elementary school for my daughter to walk on her own. So, every weekday, I drive her to and pick her up from school.

So, there it is: School Bus Duty.

It doesn’t end there. We drive home, pillage the snack cupboard, dig out the daily homework, and solve math problems or scribble synonyms or tackle some other subject, until my wife arrives around 3:30 p.m. For me, it’s back to the office to finish up the day.

No problem for a stay-at-home parent or one that works part-time. But like I said: I’ve got a lot of work jam-packed into each and every day. And 2 to 3:30 p.m. is primetime for meetings and other business fundamentals. Heartburn for most folks. But me? Nah.

Why? (Here’s a hint: the answer is in the headline.)

Bring your whole, flexible self to work

The most amazing thing about Hyland’s openness to flexible work arrangements (FWAs) is not that I have the opportunity to have one, but that it’s not a big deal for anyone I work with, from the top of the corporate ladder to the very first rung.

It’s not quite a Results Oriented Work Environment and not exactly flextime. It’s more something in the middle. It’s more like the day is yours. It’s bringing your whole self to work – school bus schedules and all.

For working parents, this philosophy is an enormous weight off our collective shoulders. Your kids rule your schedule. It’s just a fact.

I confirmed it with friend and co-worker, Kim Wilgus. Her family has a funky schedule. She works days, he works nights, and they have a baby and 3-year-old who rule the roost. She starts at 7:30 a.m., heads home at 3:30 p.m. and gets a couple hours with her husband and kids before he’s off to work.

“We call this the ‘Transition Tango,’” says Kim. “And this schedule is important to me because it gives me the opportunity to focus on my job during the hours that work best for me and my family. In return, I am able to dedicate valuable ‘work-time’ to Hyland as well as valuable ‘Mommy time’ to my two girls.”

FWAs for everyone

This flexibility isn’t just a benefit for working parents, though. It’s for everyone.

“Flexibility is probably my favorite #HylandLife perk,” co-worker Alana Coticchia tells me. She’s among dozens of Hylanders who use Hyland’s flexible work environment to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Exercising is a very important part of my day, and life at Hyland grants me the opportunity to fit it in when it works best for me and my schedule,” says Coticchia. “I don’t have to wake up super early, squeeze a sweat session in over lunch or stay after work.”

Hylander Christie Prenger agrees.

“It’s more than getting a workout in at a time other than lunch. For me it’s the fact that my company trusts me to workout when I want and still get all my work done,” she says. “I work with a lot of folks from different time zones, so meeting slots are never consistent (and sometimes over lunch). It is extremely helpful to work out at a different time of the day. Exercise keeps me happy, focused and refreshed. All of which help me stay productive throughout the day.”

But don’t take our word for it

The folks at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) back that up. FWAs, SHRM reports, positively affect employee morale, job satisfaction, and engagement, leading to greater employee productivity and commitment.

“Organizations are seeking to attract a quality workforce, engage our best and brightest employees and retain our workforce,” says Jill Evans-Silman, SPHR, vice president at Meador Staffing Services and member of SHRM’s Staffing Management Special Expertise Panel, in SHRM’s Workplace Flexibility in the 21st Century: Meeting the Needs of the Changing Workforce.

“There is no argument that FWAs are a distinct advantage for the savvy employers that have created such employee-friendly practices,” she says.

That’s the real deal at Hyland. Remote employees, time out for volleyball – even a round of Pokemon in the diner – it’s all here.

And the result? Hard-working employees with a passion for the work they do and the customers they serve, not just 9 to 5, but all the way around the clock.

Now excuse me. It’s School Bus Duty time.

Tom Tennant

Tom Tennant

Tom Tennant is the Content Marketing team lead at Hyland Software. He joined Hyland in 2010 as its first brand journalist - and he carries the bona fides: 12 years as a news reporter, editor and trade magazine editor.

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