Oct 18, 2012 • By

Flexing your work options

General Mills sees flexibility as a benefit for its employees and as good for business. We’ve found that giving people the flexibility to work when and where they are at their best is a proven way to increase productivity and satisfaction.

In fact, the Harvard Business Review recently reported on one firm’s leaders who worked remotely were more engaged and committed, and rated higher in 360-degree reviews than team members sitting nearby.

“Our talented employees seek the flexibility that provides more balance in their life but also helps them stay productive in their jobs,” says Ken Charles, vice president, Global Diversity and Inclusion for General Mills. “For us, performance is measured by results, not physical presence. Flexibility emphasizes what is produced, not when or where work is done.”

At General Mills, work flex is available in four core areas, including:

•Formal Work Arrangements: Telecommuting, flexible hours, part-time schedule, job sharing, and phase back to work after a leave of absence.

•Informal (Everyday Flexibility): Every day accommodations including working from home as needed or leaving for appointments.

•Extended: Time off such as paid and unpaid leaves of absences, unpaid sabbaticals, and flex vacation.

•FUSE (Flexible User Shared Environment): Flexible work model for teams to literally tear down the walls and utilize space, technology and training to grow department and individual performance.

To see how flex is playing out at General Mills and at home, we had the chance to catch up with Chris Vokal, an IT project manager in our Global Business Solutions Division, and FUSE employee.

General Mills is one of the most celebrated companies in the U.S. for providing a flexible work environment with frequent awards from Working Mother magazine, and Fortune magazine the National Association of Female Executives.