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Book Review: The Custom-Fit Workplace

Submitted by Bianca on November 29, 2012 - 1:12pm

Richir Outreach has had the pleasure of working with Joan Blades and Nanette Fondas on their project MomsRising, a grassroots organization working to achieve economic security for all families. These women have not limited themselves to just this project; Joan Blades founded the organization MoveOn with her husband, and Blades and Fondas co-authored the book The Custom-Fit Workplace that delves into the business benefits of flexibility in the workplace and custom-fit policies and practices. The Custom-Fit Workplace, being an initiative of MomsRising, clearly aligns with Richir Outreach’s progressive core values.

The Custom-Fit Workplace drives home the logical point that striking a work-life balance is not hard, and should not be met with resistance from employers. Their tag-line for the book says it all: “choose when, where, and how to work and boost your bottom line”. The reasoning is direct; finding a custom fit for the workplace is mutually beneficial for employees and employers alike.

Blades and Fondas document convincing evidence to back up their work-life philosophy; they include real life anecdotes as well as case studies and statistics. They also cite forward-looking companies that are already implementing the strategies mentioned in the book for creating a harmonious work-life balance. They focus on these solutions to make jobs a better fit for workers:

  • virtual work
  • on-demand work
  • redesigned career tracks
  • integrating kids and work
  • high-commitment work practices

While the practices described in this book are extremely logical, they do not necessarily lend themselves to all sectors of work; however, they are especially valuable in the nonprofit world. The authors do a great job at pinpointing that change is necessary; insight-fully saying “at a gut level, familiarity feels safe. Change requires new mind-sets”. Overall, this book was an encouraging read. It was well written and provided logical solutions to construct a custom-fit workplace for employers and employees alike.