Dow employees enjoying new workplace flexibility

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Like quite a few individuals around the world, Aaron Metz saw his individual lifetime and function lifestyle intersect as a end result of the COVID-19 pandemic and an prolonged short-term shift to working at home.

“My wife, Nicole, transitioned from staying a keep-at-household parent to our 5-year-aged and 10-calendar year-old girls and returned to the workforce,” explained Metz, Senior Plan Supervisor for Dow’s Corporate Facilities Know-how Heart.

At the exact same time, an initiative at Dow that was introduced previous calendar year, identified as “Layout Your Working day,” is supposed to give workforce the adaptability to balance their experienced and personal lives. Metz said in his family’s circumstance, Design and style Your Day permits him to be with their daughters, Cadence and Maisie, at crucial instances all through the day.


“I have the flexibility to make sure our women get to and from college, and to hockey and soccer practices and dance recitals,” Metz defined. “(I can be obtainable for) the little matters like a exclusive lunch date (with my daughters) in the middle of a day, or taking part in with Barbies. These are factors I did not know I was lacking.”

Lina Cano-Ackerman, IT Services Leader – Production Operations, was quickly thrilled at the start of Style and design Your Working day.

“It was like a enormous pounds was lifted from me,” said Cano-Ackerman, who has worked for Dow for 22 many years. She and her husband, Jeff, have a 7-calendar year-outdated daughter named Cassie.

Even prior to the pandemic hit, Cano-Ackerman had been organizing to request the capability to get the job done from dwelling in the afternoons in purchase to be equipped to decide up her daughter just after school. When the pandemic started, Cano-Ackerman was among the the staff members who have been shifted to doing work at residence. After the Dow workforce began to return to the place of work, she thought she would be faced with a renewed predicament.

“It was quite welcome information when (Design and style Your Working day) was declared. I was incredibly content to hear it,” she explained.

Cassie, a “mom’s female,” as Cano-Ackerman put it, was delighted to listen to it as well. 

“She receives incredibly thrilled when I decide on her up at faculty, or at camp now in the summer,” Cano-Ackerman stated. “These are things that ordinarily I wouldn’t have gotten to do because she would have been in just after-school care. It can be been great to have that mom-daughter connection (for the duration of the working day).”

What is Design and style Your Day and what was the impetus for it?

Mike Weideman, World-wide Human Assets Answers Director for Dow, reported Layout Your Working day arrived about after it turned apparent that workers were being equipped to remain successful while operating at household because of to the pandemic.

“Style and design Your Working day, in brief, is Dow’s new framework for overall flexibility,” Weideman stated. “Staff and leaders are entrusted and empowered with purpose-based mostly versatility as far as the place and when their perform is accomplished, although nonetheless getting accountable to provide success.”

A group of Dow staff members was fashioned in late 2020, Weideman mentioned, and was tasked with developing a technique for the “future gen workplace.”

The final result was Style and design Your Working day. The initiative was authorised by Dow leadership and its board of directors about a yr back and was introduced all through the business in the next 50 percent of 2021.

“It is what we consider to be a in depth strategy with no overprescribing,” Weideman reported. “It’s also open to evolution. We built it for what we know nowadays, but we’re open up for what tomorrow brings.”

Dow Chairman and Main Government Officer Jim Fitterling summed up Layout Your Day with the following statement on the internet site corporate.dow.com:

“We have acquired lots of important classes by means of the pandemic about why supplying all personnel with flexibility is key. This is why we produced Layout Your Working day. Design and style Your Day is Dow’s new adaptable office strategy. It is not a coverage or a 1-sizing-fits-all strategy. Instead, it is a way of thinking and a cultural change that is rooted in our ambition. The Dow Management Workforce totally endorses Style Your Day because it is far better for employees and best for Dow.”

What does Design Your Day search like?

Style and design Your Working day is put into apply immediately after collaboration between workforce and their supervisors.

“We strongly really encourage incredibly clear worker-chief conversations prior to embarking on the DYD journey,” Weideman reported. “Our leaders have to get the job done with their teams to empower them to make selections that are most effective for them selves as employees.”

The way Metz describes it, Design and style Your Working day rewards his property sphere and, in convert, his operate sphere as perfectly.

“DYD has supplied me own overall flexibility to be a much better father and husband and, in switch, a greater employee,” Metz reported. “I experience empowered to make conclusions on when I get operate carried out — and even now be accountable.”

From time to time, Metz is at the place of work for the full working day. Other times, he functions remotely for section of the working day. It depends on his personal plan as an employee as effectively as those of his perform team and his loved ones on a particular day.

Cano-Ackerman also claimed she feels this new workplace tradition has put her in a superior situation to assistance equally her spouse and children and her company.

“I’ve certainly been additional productive,” she stated. “At times I want to be in the office due to the fact of the sorts of conversations we are acquiring. But in some cases, if I’m on the cellphone all working day, I can be at dwelling.”

She commutes from her property in Midland to Auburn, so eradicating that driving time on specific occasions can be advantageous.

“That time that I would have been in the car or truck, I can spend in successful time,” Cano-Ackerman stated, including, “I like coming jointly (with my workforce users) for a intent, even though. It truly is impressive, and there is a whole lot of conversation.”

Weideman and his wife, Kari, have a 14-yr-aged son, Dayten, and an 11-12 months-previous daughter, Nev. He is also grateful for the chance to get the job done remotely component of the time and be with his household at certain moments all through the working day.

“At the very same time, I also want to be there for my Dow group. I’m on web-site on a frequent foundation,” he reported.

And for some personnel, operating whole-time at their do the job web page is the very best in shape, Weideman famous.

“We have some individuals that will go to the office each and every working day. Perhaps they have a good deal of points going on at property,” he explained. “(Style Your Working day) means something diverse for every person, but there is a framework in area that will allow people to determine out (what functions most effective for them).”

Cano-Ackerman, who qualified prospects a workforce of employees that spans different nations around the world, echoed Weideman’s considered that Style and design Your Working day is a versatile and fluid notion.

“We’ve had many conversations and I don’t immediate or tell them, ‘You need to be in the place of work these several hours.’ It is particular person,” Cano-Ackerman stated. “The critical matter is, all round we have a job to get performed. We’re all adults. (An individual’s get the job done agenda) is not established in stone, it can improve. It is really open communication to fully grasp exactly where they are, how can we make Style Your Day get the job done for them on an personal basis.”

Aiding recruitment and retention

Weideman is confident that Dow’s new initiative will assistance the enterprise the two continue to keep its existing workers and appeal to new ones.

“Feedback (from workforce about Structure Your Day) has been very favorable hence much,” Weideman reported. “The far more empowered versatility an employee is enduring, the greater their personnel engagement and pleasure scores are.”

With companies competing fiercely for staff members in present-day position market, this new initiative is giving Dow a leg up, in accordance to Weideman.

“This has been a wonderful instrument for us in recruiting and in personnel retention,” he claimed. “During the pandemic, many individuals reassessed their priorities. Design Your Day permits an staff to treatment for a dad or mum or a mate, or what ever is important for them not to pass up.”

Cano-Ackerman agrees.

“When I recruit, in some cases (Design and style Your Working day) has authorized us to get more talent and get them in the doorway,” she stated. “It is a really competitive house. This is 1 of the factors that helps catch the attention of candidates: possessing the overall flexibility of Design Your Day.”

Given that 50 to 60% of Dow staff are demanded to be on web site for their jobs all or most of the time, Weideman stated, the enterprise is on the lookout at how it can expand Design and style Your Working day to benefit its entire workforce.

“We’re thoroughly aware that not every single purpose at Dow is open to the identical variety of overall flexibility,” he said. “We’ve received ideas to up grade spaces in which people are necessary to go in (to get the job done). We are also discovering the likely all around more change overall flexibility and shift swapping as a result of digital capabilities. We did develop Style and design Your Working day for everyone at Dow, not just portion of the (workforce).”

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