Dow employees enjoying new workplace flexibility


Like several folks all-around the entire world, Aaron Metz noticed his particular everyday living and perform existence intersect as a end result of the COVID-19 pandemic and an extended short-term shift to performing at residence.

“My spouse, Nicole, transitioned from being a keep-at-residence mother or father to our 5-calendar year-aged and 10-yr-old ladies and returned to the workforce,” reported Metz, Senior Application Supervisor for Dow’s Company Amenities Knowledge Heart.

At the similar time, an initiative at Dow that was released last yr, named “Style and design Your Working day,” is meant to give staff the overall flexibility to harmony their professional and private life. Metz stated in his family’s scenario, Style Your Day enables him to be with their daughters, Cadence and Maisie, at vital situations through the working day.

“I have the flexibility to make certain our girls get to and from school, and to hockey and soccer tactics and dance recitals,” Metz discussed. “(I can be obtainable for) the very little things like a distinctive lunch day (with my daughters) in the center of a day, or playing with Barbies. All those are things I didn’t know I was missing.”

Lina Cano-Ackerman, IT Services Leader – Manufacturing Functions, was quickly thrilled at the launch of Layout Your Working day.

“It was like a substantial excess weight was lifted from me,” said Cano-Ackerman, who has labored for Dow for 22 several years. She and her spouse, Jeff, have a 7-12 months-aged daughter named Cassie.

Even prior to the pandemic strike, Cano-Ackerman had been scheduling to request the capability to do the job from household in the afternoons in buy to be in a position to decide on up her daughter soon after university. When the pandemic began, Cano-Ackerman was amid the workers who were shifted to doing work at dwelling. As soon as the Dow workforce commenced to return to the workplace, she considered she would be confronted with a renewed predicament.

“It was quite welcome news when (Design and style Your Day) was declared. I was incredibly pleased to hear it,” she explained.

Cassie, a “mom’s girl,” as Cano-Ackerman put it, was satisfied to listen to it as effectively. 

“She gets very excited when I decide her up at university, or at camp now in the summer,” Cano-Ackerman claimed. “People are things that typically I wouldn’t have gotten to do for the reason that she would have been in right after-faculty treatment. It really is been fantastic to have that mom-daughter connection (throughout the day).”

What is Style and design Your Day and what was the impetus for it?

Mike Weideman, Global Human Means Alternatives Director for Dow, explained Design and style Your Working day arrived about soon after it grew to become obvious that personnel were in a position to stay successful when doing the job at household owing to the pandemic.

“Design and style Your Working day, in small, is Dow’s new framework for overall flexibility,” Weideman explained. “Staff and leaders are entrusted and empowered with part-dependent versatility as far as exactly where and when their do the job is finished, while continue to getting accountable to supply success.”

A crew of Dow staff was formed in late 2020, Weideman explained, and was tasked with creating a technique for the “up coming gen office.”

The outcome was Style Your Day. The initiative was authorized by Dow leadership and its board of directors about a calendar year ago and was released all over the business in the next 50 percent of 2021.

“It truly is what we think to be a comprehensive solution without having overprescribing,” Weideman said. “It’s also open to evolution. We designed it for what we know nowadays, but we’re open up for what tomorrow delivers.”

Dow Chairman and Main Govt Officer Jim Fitterling summed up Style Your Day with the next assertion on the web site

“We have discovered several useful classes as a result of the pandemic about why furnishing all staff members with flexibility is vital. This is why we developed Style Your Working day. Design and style Your Day is Dow’s new versatile workplace system. It is not a plan or a one-measurement-suits-all technique. Alternatively, it is a mindset and a cultural change that is rooted in our ambition. The Dow Management Workforce entirely endorses Style Your Working day for the reason that it is much better for staff and ideal for Dow.”

What does Style and design Your Day glimpse like?

Style and design Your Working day is put into follow right after collaboration amongst workforce and their supervisors.

“We strongly encourage extremely transparent personnel-chief conversations prior to embarking on the DYD journey,” Weideman explained. “Our leaders have to get the job done with their groups to empower them to make choices that are very best for by themselves as personnel.”

The way Metz describes it, Design Your Day rewards his dwelling sphere and, in change, his work sphere as perfectly.

“DYD has presented me private flexibility to be a far better father and partner and, in convert, a much better worker,” Metz stated. “I experience empowered to make choices on when I get operate completed — and nevertheless be accountable.”

At times, Metz is at the business for the total working day. Other occasions, he performs remotely for part of the day. It relies upon on his personal routine as an personnel as perfectly as those of his perform workforce and his spouse and children on a specific working day.

Cano-Ackerman also reported she feels this new workplace lifestyle has put her in a greater situation to enable equally her loved ones and her company.

“I’ve definitely been extra productive,” she said. “Occasionally I need to be in the office simply because of the types of discussions we are possessing. But often, if I am on the telephone all working day, I can be at dwelling.”

She commutes from her property in Midland to Auburn, so getting rid of that driving time on certain events can be valuable.

“That time that I would have been in the automobile, I can expend in productive time,” Cano-Ackerman said, introducing, “I like coming together (with my workforce users) for a objective, nevertheless. It truly is potent, and you can find a ton of communication.”

Weideman and his spouse, Kari, have a 14-calendar year-aged son, Dayten, and an 11-calendar year-outdated daughter, Nev. He is also grateful for the prospect to perform remotely section of the time and be with his loved ones at specific moments through the day.

“At the exact same time, I also want to be there for my Dow crew. I’m on web site on a typical foundation,” he reported.

And for some workers, functioning whole-time at their work site is the ideal fit, Weideman noted.

“We have some individuals that will go to the business just about every working day. Possibly they have a whole lot of factors heading on at property,” he mentioned. “(Layout Your Working day) means something distinct for most people, but there’s a framework in position that permits individuals to determine out (what functions most effective for them).”

Cano-Ackerman, who leads a crew of staff that spans various nations, echoed Weideman’s considered that Style and design Your Day is a flexible and fluid idea.

“We’ve had several conversations and I you should not immediate or inform them, ‘You require to be in the office these hrs.’ It is personal,” Cano-Ackerman claimed. “The key thing is, over-all we have a work to get accomplished. We are all grown ups. (An individual’s perform agenda) is not established in stone, it can improve. It can be open up communication to realize where by they are, how can we make Design Your Day function for them on an particular person basis.”

Aiding recruitment and retention

Weideman is self-confident that Dow’s new initiative will assistance the company both continue to keep its present-day personnel and bring in new kinds.

“Opinions (from personnel about Style Your Day) has been extremely favorable therefore significantly,” Weideman reported. “The additional empowered versatility an worker is enduring, the higher their staff engagement and gratification scores are.”

With providers competing fiercely for personnel in modern position industry, this new initiative is providing Dow a leg up, according to Weideman.

“This has been a great tool for us in recruiting and in staff retention,” he claimed. “In the course of the pandemic, several individuals reassessed their priorities. Design Your Day permits an worker to treatment for a mum or dad or a mate, or whatever is critical for them not to miss out on.”

Cano-Ackerman agrees.

“When I recruit, in some situations (Design and style Your Working day) has permitted us to get more expertise and get them in the doorway,” she explained. “It is a extremely aggressive place. This is one particular of the things that allows entice candidates: acquiring the overall flexibility of Style Your Working day.”

Given that 50 to 60% of Dow workers are required to be on web page for their work opportunities all or most of the time, Weideman reported, the corporation is on the lookout at how it can expand Style Your Working day to benefit its overall workforce.

“We’re thoroughly conscious that not each individual role at Dow is open up to the very same type of flexibility,” he said. “We’ve got plans to update areas the place people are essential to go in (to function). We are also discovering the probable all over far more change overall flexibility and shift swapping by electronic capabilities. We did construct Structure Your Day for all people at Dow, not just portion of the (workforce).”


Supply link