March of 2020, what a different time. What we assumed would be short-term inconveniences to our daily lives has led to lasting impacts and changes in our thinking and our world as a whole; women have felt the brunt of the impact. Women have lost over 1 million more jobs than men during the pandemic and are struggling to reenter the workforce. The jobs are there. Every business is hiring and struggling to find candidates so why are women still out of the workforce? It’s simple, the M-F doesn’t work for working moms. With schools transitioning between remote & in-person learning, daycare centers closing, and the hectic pandemic life, people are struggling. What we have learned is that the standard 40-hour workweek adds additional stress to our lives by its rigidity.

It’s time to think differently about workplace schedules and kick the norms to the curb. The 40-hour workweek was standardized in the ’20s and 30’s but life and technology have changed dramatically since then so why are businesses clinging to a notion that an employee must be parked at their desk M-F from 9-5 to be successfully completing all of their work?


21 years ago, Juli Bacon, the President of JB Consulting Systems saw the gap that existed for many, particularly women, and set out to create a better workplace. Between commutes, children in school, and sports/extra-curricular activities, traditional workplace schedules made it nearly impossible to have a successful balance between a happy work and home life. Juli flipped the ‘standard schedule’ on its head and carved out a new path forward that provides that balance to her team. She has established clear expectations: Work remotely, set your schedule, deliver your work on time, and reach out if support is needed.


The evidence is clear; businesses who adopt a non-traditional (40-hour) work week experience a host of benefits including:

  • Increased productivity
  • Attracting top candidates
  • Retaining employees
  • Improved employee morale
  • Reduced overhead costs


Today’s candidates are demanding and expecting this change. In years past, candidates looked for jobs with a clear trajectory into a higher-level position specific to their degree. They wanted a position with increasing responsibilities and a sightline to management. Today, that dream is long gone and employees have a new goal, to be happy at home and work, and they are willing to give up a management role to do so. Employees are craving flexibility and many have proved they can be successful working at home. They are choosing to not return to the workplace daily.


Following her model of trusting her team, giving clear parameters that help employees understand expectations while enjoying a balance just may be a win-win for your employees and business. If your business is struggling to find new candidates and retain great talent, it may be time to rethink what working hours may look like for your business. Challenge the norms and include flexible options that work for employees, particularly women. Next time you hire, evaluate the position and determine if you can offer reduced hours depending on the workload and a flexible schedule.


If you are considering making a change to the standard way of conducting business and would like some help in building out a flexible or remote workforce our team of HR Consultants can help you design and build a program that will successfully work for you. Contact Us or give us a call and let’s chat, 800.317.1378 x14