"In late summer, with the back-to-school shopping season in full swing, a small group of clothing retailers in Chicago will challenge convention by offering their low-wage, mostly part-time workers a list of perks normally reserved for management: flexible hours, time off when needed, and a locked-in schedule of shifts that allows workers to plan a full month, rather than a few days, in advance."
“We’ve been talking about work-life balance for a long time, but we haven’t been talking about who has been excluded from these kinds of arrangements,” Lambert says from her Chicago office, noting a mild pang of guilt for the flexible workplace benefits she enjoys. “The people who really need flexible arrangements often don’t have them.”The days of families with 9-5 union jobs that all eat dinner at 5:30 are gone. Now families often have two working parents and schedules that change and often fewer extended family members and less social capital. Families offered the ability to achieve a school-life balance would lessen their stress and be able to help their kids lead better lives. Families would make the small adjustments that are crucial to their happiness and ability to cope. Schools that provided learning services where families had the ability to choose could help families stabilize and cope with the massive stress a troubled economy places on them.
All government services should move toward greater democracy and citizen access. It would benefit the economy as well as strengthen families and communities.