Dow employees enjoying new workplace flexibility

Like numerous men and women about the entire world, Aaron Metz observed his individual existence and function existence intersect as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic and an extended short-term shift to doing work at home.

“My spouse, Nicole, transitioned from remaining a remain-at-home mother or father to our 5-calendar year-outdated and 10-yr-aged ladies and returned to the workforce,” stated Metz, Senior Method Manager for Dow’s Corporate Services Experience Heart.

At the identical time, an initiative at Dow that was launched previous 12 months, termed “Layout Your Working day,” is meant to give workers the overall flexibility to harmony their qualified and personalized life. Metz mentioned in his family’s scenario, Structure Your Working day enables him to be with their daughters, Cadence and Maisie, at vital situations for the duration of the working day.

“I have the flexibility to make absolutely sure our women get to and from college, and to hockey and soccer procedures and dance recitals,” Metz described. “(I can be offered for) the very little points like a exclusive lunch day (with my daughters) in the middle of a working day, or participating in with Barbies. All those are matters I didn’t notice I was lacking.”

Lina Cano-Ackerman, IT Services Chief – Manufacturing Operations, was straight away thrilled at the start of Design Your Working day.

“It was like a enormous excess weight was lifted from me,” explained Cano-Ackerman, who has worked for Dow for 22 yrs. She and her partner, Jeff, have a 7-12 months-previous daughter named Cassie.

Even ahead of the pandemic hit, Cano-Ackerman had been planning to request the potential to function from home in the afternoons in get to be ready to decide up her daughter following school. When the pandemic began, Cano-Ackerman was among the workers who have been shifted to functioning at home. At the time the Dow workforce began to return to the business, she believed she would be faced with a renewed problem.

“It was quite welcome news when (Design and style Your Working day) was declared. I was really happy to listen to it,” she explained.

Cassie, a “mom’s girl,” as Cano-Ackerman set it, was happy to hear it as effectively. 

“She gets very enthusiastic when I select her up at school, or at camp now in the summer season,” Cano-Ackerman said. “People are things that generally I wouldn’t have gotten to do simply because she would have been in right after-college care. It’s been great to have that mom-daughter connection (during the working day).”

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

Mike Weideman, Global Human Assets Answers Director for Dow, claimed Structure Your Day came about following it became very clear that personnel have been able to stay productive although functioning at home due to the pandemic.

“Design Your Working day, in shorter, is Dow’s new framework for versatility,” Weideman claimed. “Workforce and leaders are entrusted and empowered with purpose-primarily based adaptability as considerably as where and when their do the job is performed, even though nevertheless staying accountable to provide final results.”

A group of Dow personnel was formed in late 2020, Weideman claimed, and was tasked with building a approach for the “next gen office.”

The final result was Style and design Your Working day. The initiative was authorised by Dow management and its board of administrators about a yr ago and was introduced all over the corporation in the second half of 2021.

“It can be what we think to be a complete tactic without having overprescribing,” Weideman said. “It’s also open up to evolution. We made it for what we know currently, but we’re open up for what tomorrow delivers.”

Dow Chairman and Chief Government Officer Jim Fitterling summed up Style and design Your Day with the pursuing statement on the website

“We have discovered quite a few worthwhile classes by the pandemic about why furnishing all staff with overall flexibility is key. This is why we established Style Your Working day. Design Your Working day is Dow’s new adaptable place of work tactic. It is not a policy or a just one-sizing-fits-all tactic. Alternatively, it is a frame of mind and a cultural shift that is rooted in our ambition. The Dow Leadership Workforce completely endorses Structure Your Day for the reason that it is much better for employees and greatest for Dow.”

What does Style and design Your Day seem like?

Layout Your Day is put into practice soon after collaboration involving workers and their supervisors.

“We strongly persuade very transparent worker-leader conversations prior to embarking on the DYD journey,” Weideman stated. “Our leaders have to get the job done with their teams to empower them to make choices that are greatest for by themselves as personnel.”

The way Metz describes it, Style and design Your Day benefits his home sphere and, in transform, his do the job sphere as very well.

“DYD has offered me own adaptability to be a better father and partner and, in change, a greater worker,” Metz reported. “I truly feel empowered to make conclusions on when I get operate done — and however be accountable.”

At times, Metz is at the business for the whole working day. Other occasions, he performs remotely for part of the working day. It is dependent on his possess routine as an staff as very well as individuals of his work group and his family on a certain day.

Cano-Ackerman also mentioned she feels this new workplace lifestyle has set her in a improved position to aid both of those her spouse and children and her organization.

“I’ve unquestionably been a lot more productive,” she mentioned. “Often I require to be in the business for the reason that of the kinds of conversations we are possessing. But at times, if I’m on the cellphone all working day, I can be at home.”

She commutes from her home in Midland to Auburn, so getting rid of that driving time on sure instances can be useful.

“That time that I would have been in the car, I can commit in productive time,” Cano-Ackerman reported, incorporating, “I like coming with each other (with my group members) for a reason, although. It truly is impressive, and you will find a great deal of communication.”

Weideman and his wife, Kari, have a 14-yr-previous son, Dayten, and an 11-12 months-previous daughter, Nev. He is also grateful for the option to get the job done remotely portion of the time and be with his household at specified periods throughout the working day.

“At the exact time, I also want to be there for my Dow staff. I’m on web site on a common basis,” he said.

And for some staff members, operating whole-time at their work website is the most effective in shape, Weideman famous.

“We have some folks that will go to the office each working day. Perhaps they have a good deal of issues likely on at home,” he explained. “(Design and style Your Working day) means something unique for every person, but there is a framework in put that enables individuals to figure out (what functions finest for them).”

Cano-Ackerman, who qualified prospects a crew of staff that spans diverse nations, echoed Weideman’s assumed that Style Your Working day is a versatile and fluid strategy.

“We’ve had lots of conversations and I will not direct or inform them, ‘You want to be in the office these hrs.’ It really is personal,” Cano-Ackerman said. “The critical issue is, overall we have a work to get carried out. We’re all grown ups. (An individual’s perform agenda) is not set in stone, it can alter. It really is open up conversation to comprehend in which they are, how can we make Structure Your Working day function for them on an individual foundation.”

Aiding recruitment and retention

Weideman is assured that Dow’s new initiative will aid the company the two keep its latest workforce and draw in new ones.

“Feedback (from workforce about Style and design Your Working day) has been extremely favorable thus significantly,” Weideman claimed. “The a lot more empowered adaptability an employee is experiencing, the bigger their worker engagement and fulfillment scores are.”

With businesses competing fiercely for employees in modern job current market, this new initiative is supplying Dow a leg up, according to Weideman.

“This has been a excellent device for us in recruiting and in employee retention,” he reported. “Through the pandemic, several people reassessed their priorities. Structure Your Working day permits an worker to treatment for a mother or father or a buddy, or whatever is critical for them not to overlook.”

Cano-Ackerman agrees.

“When I recruit, in some cases (Style and design Your Working day) has allowed us to get a lot more talent and get them in the doorway,” she claimed. “It is a extremely competitive place. This is just one of the matters that can help attract candidates: getting the versatility of Style Your Day.”

Given that 50 to 60% of Dow workers are expected to be on web-site for their jobs all or most of the time, Weideman mentioned, the company is looking at how it can broaden Style and design Your Working day to reward its total workforce.

“We’re thoroughly conscious that not each and every job at Dow is open up to the exact same type of flexibility,” he stated. “We’ve obtained programs to upgrade areas where by folks are demanded to go in (to get the job done). We’re also checking out the possible all around much more change adaptability and change swapping via electronic abilities. We did develop Style Your Working day for every person at Dow, not just component of the (workforce).”