OpenWork Increases Cost Savings

At State Street Corporation, manager-initiated flex programs drive productivity, reduce turnover and increase cost savings.


After State Street Corporation took notice of flexible work programs that had grown organically across the firm for more than a decade, it was determined the program should be more fully integrated with business objectives. The goal was to transition the disparate collection of  employee-initiated arrangements into a proactive, manager-initiated program supported by tools, technology and resources tailored to be relevant in all of State Street’s global locations.

In 2011, the Manager-Initiated Flexibility (MIF) program was launched to encourage managers to engage employees in discussions to consider the merits of alternate flexible arrangements that might impact where work and when work is performed. To assess the program, State Street participated in the Study of Tomorrow’s Workforce conducted by the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College in 2013. Based on 1065 manager responses, the study concluded that:

  • Most managers supported the objectives of manager-initiated discussions of flexible work and are favorably inclined toward workplace flexibility.
  • One in four managers have been significantly influenced by the MIF program and approximately half of conversations about workplace flexibility were initiated by managers.
  • Following the implementation of the MIF program, use of all types of flexible work arrangements increased. Most significant changes have occurred in working fully or partially off site.
  • Engagement with the MIF program and more frequent flexible work arrangement use resulted in:
    • Enhanced manager-supervisee relations
    • Enhanced individual productivity
    • Enhanced work-unit productivity
    • Enhanced interpersonal conduct within work-units

According to the Boston College Center for Work & Family, nearly half all flexible work arrangements were created as a result of manager-initiated discussions, and turnover for all employees utilizing these arrangements was 41 percent less than the company-wide average. 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.

Click here to download the full study “The Impact of Manager-Initiated Flexibility Program: Study of Tomorrow’s Workforce Report.”