In the wake of Yahoo! and Hewlett-Packard announcing the end of their telecommuting policies, it’s easy to imagine that the trend towards more flexible workplaces is slowing down or even reversing. But thousands of companies still support telecommuting and other flexible policies, and a new initiative recently launched to unify and amplify that support.

1 Million for Work Flexibility is a national coalition of individuals, companies, and organizations who believe that flexible work options benefit both employers and workers. Those involved include Working Mother magazine, Thomson Reuters, Mom Corps, the National Association for Female Executives, WorldAtWork, UnitedHealth Group, and other organizations. In addition, 1 Million is also reaching out to individuals–professionals who need and want work flexibility.

“All kinds of people want work flexibility – women, men, parents, millennials, retirees, freelancers, military spouses, and many others – and for many different reasons,” said Sara Sutton Fell, the founder and CEO of FlexJobs and creator of the initiative. “We are excited to provide a way for these individuals to show their support for work flexibility in a way that can make a positive difference for everyone.”

Over the last several years, studies by Stanford University, Penn State, and others have shown that flexible work policies–such as telecommuting, flexible scheduling, and results-only work environments, otherwise known as R.OW.E.–increase productivity, reduce turnover, and help companies save money. Employees benefit as well through reduced stress, better work-life balance, and more overall satisfaction.

On the other hand, professionals who don’t have access to flexible work options often feel frustrated, isolated, and stuck. 1 Million for Work Flexibility is reaching out to those workers, offering a place for people to come together in support of making workplaces more flexible. The coalition will provide ideas for people to get involved in promoting work flexibility, learn the latest news and trends, showcase personal stories, and make it easier to get involved in local and national events, legislation, petitions, and other efforts supporting the advancement of flexible work options.

Some studies estimate that work flexibility is already popular at many companies. According to data from WorldAtWork, “Overall, teleworking, flex time and part-time schedules — the three most popular flexibility programs — are each offered to some or all employees in more than 80 percent of companies. Telecommuting, either full-time or on a part-time basis, is the most prevalent option, offered by nearly 90 percent of employers.”

While a few big-name companies make waves by decreasing their flexible work options, the overall trend of more people working from home, setting their own schedules, and finding work-life balance is an encouraging one. Unifying employers, professionals, policy makers, and other interested individuals will only help grow the trend.

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