A New Work/Life Balance Model: “Mass Career Customization”

Consulting and accounting firm Deloitte has scrapped its nearly 70 different “flexible work arrangements” in favor of a system it developed called “Mass Career Customization.”

The arrangement has promise for other companies—and in fact, according to Workforce, Deloitte is now pitching the concept to its clients—especially those that believe work-life balance is for more than mothers.

There’s a cute little matrix chart thingy, seen above, with four columns and six levels of commitment and other things that HR folks love, but in essence, it’s a system designed to get employees to think about how they want to contribute at what stages in their life. And it allows for people not to just say “I want less work and more time with my family” but “Please give me more responsibility, I’m interested in advancing my career.” Which is something we find sorely lacking in work-life programs.

When Deloitte rolled out the program to its own employees, it found that give-me-more-work requests (“dial-up,” in Deloitte’s parlance) outnumbered dial-down requests by a ratio of 3 to 2. And voluntary turnover decreased by 25 percent in the first year.

We’d guess that a big corporation like Deloitte is inherently less flexible than many media companies, so perhaps introducing a program like this wouldn’t even be necessary at most of the places where y’all work. But it’s great to see a company trying something new with an age-old problem.