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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Launching a flexible work program

How do you start a flexible work schedule program at your workplace?

Dorothy Eisenberg started one at her Miami accounting firm, Gerson, Preston, Robinson & Company. Eisenberg did it by first proving herself that it can work. Then, lobbying her partners to start a formal program.

Eisenberg was a pioneer of a reduced schedule 20 years ago when she went to a 30-hour work week at her New York firm. She was able to get the same schedule at her Miami firm years later. "Initially there was some resistance,'' Eisenberg says. "I told them if they didn't give me flexible hours I would go to another firm that would."

To succeed, Eisenberg, a mother of two, had to provide the same service to clients that a full time tax professional would give. After proving she could do that, she urged her partners to allow others at her firm to try it too. Now, her children are college students, she's full time and oversees staff on flexible schedules - part-time or reduced hours.

"They are responsible and the follow up on their end has been tremendous," Eisenberg says. To contact Dorothy for more information, e-mail her at

To learn more about flexible work programs, click here for the Department of Labor's suggestions.


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