WXYZ-TV: Bertie Greer on importance of workplace flexibility

Bertie Greer, associate dean at Wayne State's Mike Ilitch School of Business, said companies have a lot to lose, or to gain, based on the tone they are set as we return to work. “Right up until we had the pandemic, conversations about flexibility at work or remote work were still a no-no. This pandemic really, has squashed that argument," she said. Greer, who also knows what it's like to be a working mother herself, said the pandemic has shown us workplace flexibility can no longer be a perk, but is a necessity in some cases. COVID, she said, taught us that it's possible to accommodate that. “It becomes second place to see a child walk in the back of a video conference. It has become second place to hear interruptions," Greer said. Data shows that inflexible work cultures have contributed to some women having to choose between caring for a loved one or advancing in their career or keeping a job. “There is this issue of not necessarily gender, but gender plus," Greer said, the idea that employers are not concerned with gender, but rather what traditionally comes with it; kids, household duties, care-taking, etc. “We’re going to have to work with our employees," said Greer. "Now we know we have more tools to use. Invite these tools into the workplace and figure out how to use them to retain your best and brightest.”

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