OpenWork is a nonprofit inspiring a national conversation about the urgent need to reinvent how work is done in the 21st century.

  • OpenWork sparks fresh thinking through sharing the stories of organizations reinventing work to solve significant business problems in ways that also improve the lives of employees.

  • If you could walk into work tomorrow and make one change that made your workplace better, what would it be? Your answer is the first step in making your work place an OpenWork place.

  • Can small changes yield big results? What can we learn about team-building from fully-distributed companies? Read more here.

OpenWork happens when employees and employers collaborate to reinvent how work is done, for the benefit of all. To OpenWork means to break out of old patterns, establish new cultures of trust and accountability, and create new ways of working to reap huge benefits.

At OpenWork.org, we share stories of organizations that inspire us by shattering the poverty of imagination that limits business productivity and societal well-being. By telling these stories, we can accelerate the pace of change in the way people can and should work in the 21st century.

10

REASONS TO OPENWORK

  • 1 BOOST PRODUCTIVITY

    97 percent of HR professionals say the productivity of employees who use flexibility is the same or better than those on rigid job schedules.

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  • 2 INCREASE JOB SATISFACTION

    Trust in one's supervisor plays a crucial role in reducing transaction costs, increasing job satisfaction, and raising organizational commitment. Additionally, employees in effective workplaces have 88 percent higher job satisfaction.

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  • 3 INCREASE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

    Employee engagement is 55 percent higher for those who use flexibility options.

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  • 4 IMPROVE HEALTH & WELL-BEING

    Stress is two times greater for employees who do not have flexible work options than for those who do.

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  • 5 INCREASE EMPLOYEE RETENTION

    Over 80 percent of employees reported that work flexibility is an important factor in their intention to stay with their company.

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  • 6 REDUCE TURNOVER

    The expected turnover rate for employees who do not have the flexibility they need at their companies is almost twice the rate of those who do.

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  • 7 IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE

    85 percent of flex users reported a positive influence on quality of life including their ability to meet family and personal responsibilities.

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  • 8 LEVERAGE EMPLOYEE TRUST

    Business experts observe that building high levels of employee trust within organizations is a means of engaging employees, generating growth and improving performance.

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  • 9 INCREASE COST SAVINGS

    Some business leaders estimate that a flexible work environment can save companies between $10,000 to $20,000 per employee per year by lowering real estate, turnover and absenteeism costs and increasing employee productivity.

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  • 10 DRIVE TRUST & ENGAGEMENT

    Trust is essential to both workplace engagement and life satisfaction. 90 percent of highly engaged workers trust their managers.

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Food Specialty Businesses

Food Specialty Businesses

In Ann Arbor, Michigan, complete transparency and employee empowerment have turned a small corner deli into a $60-million collection of community-driven businesses.

 

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Digital Music

Digital Music

Music streaming service Spotify bridges the gap between parental leave and the return to work with a rare benefit — a structured Welcome Back program for parents.

 

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Online Marketplace

Online Marketplace

Maker platform Etsy takes a handcrafted approach to cultivating employee engagement and a creative workplace culture.

 

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Food & Beverage

Food & Beverage

California food and drink company Clif Bar drives employee loyalty by cultivating “happy, healthy people” with programs like its paid sabbatical leave.

 

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Social Media

Social Media

While many companies struggle with managing a remote team, Buffer has created a company culture and recruitment process that keeps their fully-distributed workforce engaged and connected.

 

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Healthcare Management Consulting

Healthcare Management Consulting

A Philadelphia healthcare industry management consulting company demonstrates how small changes in corporate culture can add up to large-scale success.

 

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Wealth Management

Wealth Management

How TrueWealth, a firm named No. 1 for women, became a great place for everyone.

 

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Software

Software

In 2011, Adobe Systems Incorporated, an American multinational computer software company, realized that in order to transform its business, certain things needed to change. Annual performance reviews were at the top of the list.

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Financial Services

Financial Services

A global company at the heart of the financial services industry, headquartered in Boston, State Street has had flexible work policies in place for many years.

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Communications

Communications

Most people who found companies initiate their business, grow their staff, and then address how and if they will deal with their employees’ family obligations.

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Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

When Canadian digital marketing firm Klick Health started to grow, co-founders Leerom Segal, Aaron Goldstein and Peter Cordy found success to be a double-edged sword.

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Entertainment

Entertainment

Tech companies in Silicon Valley and San Francisco often have been among the most progressive when it comes to family leave.

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READY TO START OPENWORKING?

The first step to becoming an OpenWork company is to learn from and be inspired by others.

  • 1

    How are organizations capitalizing on the shifting realities brought about by new technologies and changing demographics?

  • 2

    How are managers and employees coming together collectively as a team to rethink the way work gets done for the benefit of all?

  • 3

    How are pioneering people shattering the poverty of imagination by embracing the principles of OpenWork—trust, accountability and flexibility?

In addition to the success stories we’ve already shared, we are continually seeking new tales to tell. We're constantly reaching out to organizations on the forefront of creating innovative work environments that breed employee satisfaction and loyalty, as well as unmatched productivity and business success. Our vision is to tell compelling stories that will both inspire and accelerate the OpenWork movement, and we want to hear from you.

Are you reinventing how work gets done?
Tell us how at [email protected]

OpenWork Board of Directors

Kathleen Christensen

Kathleen Christensen Program Director   |   Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Kathleen Christensen directs the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Working Longer program. Previously, Dr. Christensen established and led Sloan’s 17-year pioneering program on working families, including spearheading the first national workplace flexibility campaign. Prior to that, she was a psychology professor at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Author and editor of seven books, Dr. Christensen planned and participated in the 2014 White House Summit on Working Families and the 2010 White House Forum on Workplace Flexibility. In 2010, Dr. Christensen was named by Working Mother magazine as one of the “Seven Wonders of the Work-Life Field.” In 2004, Families and Work Institute honored her with the inaugural Work-Life Legacy Award as a founder of the work-life field.

Kathleen Christensen

Anne-marie slaughter President and CEO   |    New America Foundation

Anne-Marie Slaughter is the president and CEO of New America and the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. From 2009-2011 she served as the director of Policy Planning for the United States Department of State, the first woman to hold that position. Prior to her government service, Dr. Slaughter was the dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs from 2002–2009. Dr. Slaughter’s July/August 2012 article in The Atlantic entitled, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” ignited a national and international conversation about working parents and workplace flexibility, and her upcoming book, Unfinished Business, continues to explore the paradigms of care and competition.  

Kathleen Christensen

Ellen Galinsky President and Co-founder    |   Families & Work Institute

Ellen Galinsky is the president and Co-founder of Families and Work Institute (FWI).  She helped establish the field of work and family life while at Bank Street College of Education, where she was on the faculty for 25 years.  She also co-directs When Work Works, a project on workplace flexibility and effectiveness first funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation that has produced a series of research papers, and has launched the Sloan Awards as well as conducted the National Study of Employers, a nationally representative study that has tracked trends in employment benefits, policies and practices since 1998.  When Work Works is now a partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Kathleen Christensen

Mike Aitken VP of Government Affairs   |   The Society for Human Resource Management

Mike Aitken is a vice president of government affairs at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. He serves as a strategic advisor to the society’s overall external relations activities. Aitken plays a key role in helping to set the strategic direction of the organization, offering important counsel on SHRM’s educational programs and professional development opportunities. With over 20 years of experience working on workplace and workforce issues, Mike is a leading authority on issues important to the human resource profession. As one of SHRM’s primary spokespeople, Aitken is regularly interviewed by the media and sought out as a speaker for business audiences.

Kathleen Christensen

John C. Parry Former CEO   |   Solix

John retired in 2014 after serving 10 years as CEO of Solix, Inc., a privately-owned company specializing in determining eligibility for $5 billion annually in public and private sector grants and subsidies. He also worked for over 30 years in telecommunications for Verizon and its predecessors. He was president of Bell Atlantic Network Systems upon his retirement from Verizon. John is a Vietnam veteran who served five years on active duty and retired as a captain in the United States Navy after 24 years of service in surface warfare, intelligence and logistics. He has a BA from the University of South Carolina and an MBA from Pace University and completed the Tuck Executive Program at Dartmouth College.

Kathleen Christensen

Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes Former Director   |   The Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College

Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes is a professor at the Boston College School of Social Work and has appointments at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and the Business School at Middlesex University in London. From 2005–2015, she co-founded and served as director of the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College which conducts research and promotes the quality of employment for older adults. Starting in 2014, Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes became the director of the Social Work Doctoral Program at Boston College. She participated in the 2005 White House Conference on Aging and received one of the Work-Life Legacy Awards conferred in 2007.

Kathleen Christensen

Maia Germain Senior Vice President   |   State Street

Maia Germain is a senior vice president in State Street’s Corporate Citizenship division, responsible for employee engagement in programs, such as global volunteering, matching gift and community events. Maia is also responsible for departmental operations and communications. Prior to this role, Maia was responsible for leading the Organizational Change Management function, as well as the global Flex Work Program. Maia continues to be an advocate for Flex Work and has spoken about this at a number of national conferences, including being selected for a session leading up to the 2014 White House Summit on Working Families. Maia was awarded the 2012 Stars 40 under 40 award for her leadership and community service.

Ted Nelson

Ted Nelson CEO/Strategy Director   |   Mechanica

Ted Nelson is one of three founding partners who conceived and launched Mechanica, a next-generation branding firm with clients including Saucony, Akamai, Partners Healthcare, Kronos, Disney, Northeastern University, Art Science Labs, Boston Brewing Company and Houghton Mifflin. Ted is a multi EFFIE award recipient for communications effectiveness and a regular speaker at business and brand development conferences. Ted also lead Mechanica’s Branding Forward Project collaboration with Fast Company.