November 29, 2022

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Creative meets living

Dow employees enjoying new workplace flexibility

Like lots of persons close to the entire world, Aaron Metz saw his private daily life and do the job life intersect as a final result of the COVID-19 pandemic and an prolonged short term shift to functioning at home.

“My wife, Nicole, transitioned from being a stay-at-residence mum or dad to our 5-yr-previous and 10-calendar year-old ladies and returned to the workforce,” mentioned Metz, Senior Application Manager for Dow’s Corporate Facilities Experience Middle.

At the identical time, an initiative at Dow that was launched last calendar year, named “Style Your Working day,” is meant to give workers the flexibility to balance their expert and personal lives. Metz stated in his family’s case, Design and style Your Day permits him to be with their daughters, Cadence and Maisie, at critical moments for the duration of the day.


“I have the versatility to make guaranteed our girls get to and from university, and to hockey and soccer procedures and dance recitals,” Metz defined. “(I can be readily available for) the very little things like a unique lunch date (with my daughters) in the center of a working day, or participating in with Barbies. Those people are issues I did not know I was lacking.”

Lina Cano-Ackerman, IT Services Leader – Manufacturing Functions, was straight away thrilled at the start of Design and style Your Working day.

“It was like a big pounds was lifted from me,” stated Cano-Ackerman, who has worked for Dow for 22 yrs. She and her husband, Jeff, have a 7-year-outdated daughter named Cassie.

Even before the pandemic hit, Cano-Ackerman had been preparing to request the capability to operate from household in the afternoons in get to be ready to select up her daughter right after college. When the pandemic began, Cano-Ackerman was among the personnel who had been shifted to performing at household. At the time the Dow workforce started to return to the office environment, she imagined she would be faced with a renewed dilemma.

“It was very welcome information when (Design Your Day) was announced. I was incredibly content to hear it,” she said.

Cassie, a “mom’s female,” as Cano-Ackerman place it, was pleased to hear it as properly. 

“She will get extremely psyched when I select her up at college, or at camp now in the summer season,” Cano-Ackerman explained. “All those are factors that typically I would not have gotten to do because she would have been in just after-faculty treatment. It really is been fantastic to have that mother-daughter relationship (in the course of the day).”

What is Layout Your Working day and what was the impetus for it?

Mike Weideman, World Human Means Options Director for Dow, reported Design Your Working day came about soon after it grew to become distinct that personnel were ready to continue to be successful although functioning at home because of to the pandemic.

“Style and design Your Day, in short, is Dow’s new framework for overall flexibility,” Weideman mentioned. “Staff and leaders are entrusted and empowered with purpose-based mostly adaptability as far as where by and when their perform is performed, even though nonetheless becoming accountable to supply results.”

A staff of Dow workforce was fashioned in late 2020, Weideman mentioned, and was tasked with building a system for the “following gen place of work.”

The result was Style and design Your Day. The initiative was authorized by Dow leadership and its board of administrators about a 12 months in the past and was introduced all over the company in the second half of 2021.

“It’s what we believe to be a complete tactic with no overprescribing,” Weideman said. “It is also open up to evolution. We made it for what we know now, but we’re open for what tomorrow brings.”

Dow Chairman and Chief Govt Officer Jim Fitterling summed up Design and style Your Working day with the following statement on the web-site company.dow.com:

“We have realized numerous beneficial lessons by way of the pandemic about why delivering all workforce with versatility is important. This is why we developed Style and design Your Working day. Structure Your Day is Dow’s new adaptable workplace system. It is not a plan or a one-dimensions-suits-all approach. Rather, it is a frame of mind and a cultural shift that is rooted in our ambition. The Dow Leadership Crew thoroughly endorses Design Your Working day due to the fact it is superior for employees and very best for Dow.”

What does Design and style Your Working day look like?

Layout Your Day is put into follow just after collaboration among workers and their supervisors.

“We strongly persuade extremely clear staff-chief discussions prior to embarking on the DYD journey,” Weideman claimed. “Our leaders have to get the job done with their groups to empower them to make possibilities that are most effective for by themselves as workers.”

The way Metz describes it, Layout Your Working day added benefits his residence sphere and, in turn, his get the job done sphere as properly.

“DYD has presented me personal adaptability to be a far better father and spouse and, in switch, a superior staff,” Metz said. “I sense empowered to make conclusions on when I get get the job done performed — and continue to be accountable.”

At times, Metz is at the place of work for the complete working day. Other times, he is effective remotely for element of the day. It is dependent on his individual schedule as an employee as nicely as those of his work crew and his household on a certain day.

Cano-Ackerman also explained she feels this new place of work tradition has place her in a better position to assist both of those her family and her enterprise.

“I have definitely been far more productive,” she reported. “Occasionally I want to be in the office because of the styles of discussions we’re possessing. But often, if I am on the phone all day, I can be at property.”

She commutes from her house in Midland to Auburn, so removing that driving time on specific occasions can be effective.

“That time that I would have been in the vehicle, I can commit in effective time,” Cano-Ackerman stated, introducing, “I like coming collectively (with my staff users) for a purpose, although. It is really strong, and you will find a great deal of communication.”

Weideman and his wife, Kari, have a 14-12 months-old son, Dayten, and an 11-12 months-outdated daughter, Nev. He is also grateful for the possibility to get the job done remotely part of the time and be with his family at selected instances all through the day.

“At the similar time, I also want to be there for my Dow crew. I’m on internet site on a typical basis,” he claimed.

And for some workforce, doing the job complete-time at their get the job done web page is the most effective in shape, Weideman famous.

“We have some individuals that will go to the place of work each and every working day. Possibly they have a lot of matters heading on at dwelling,” he explained. “(Design Your Day) means something various for all people, but there’s a framework in area that enables people to determine out (what operates most effective for them).”

Cano-Ackerman, who potential customers a team of personnel that spans distinctive international locations, echoed Weideman’s thought that Style Your Day is a versatile and fluid concept.

“We have had several discussions and I never immediate or explain to them, ‘You have to have to be in the office environment these hrs.’ It is really particular person,” Cano-Ackerman reported. “The vital point is, over-all we have a occupation to get accomplished. We are all adults. (An individual’s perform timetable) is not set in stone, it can alter. It’s open up conversation to comprehend wherever they are, how can we make Design Your Day perform for them on an personal foundation.”

Aiding recruitment and retention

Weideman is self-confident that Dow’s new initiative will enable the firm equally retain its existing personnel and bring in new types.

“Feedback (from personnel about Style Your Working day) has been exceptionally favorable as a result considerably,” Weideman reported. “The much more empowered overall flexibility an employee is enduring, the bigger their staff engagement and fulfillment scores are.”

With organizations competing fiercely for staff in today’s position current market, this new initiative is giving Dow a leg up, according to Weideman.

“This has been a excellent tool for us in recruiting and in staff retention,” he reported. “Throughout the pandemic, numerous individuals reassessed their priorities. Style and design Your Working day makes it possible for an personnel to treatment for a dad or mum or a good friend, or no matter what is essential for them not to pass up.”

Cano-Ackerman agrees.

“When I recruit, in some conditions (Layout Your Working day) has permitted us to get far more expertise and get them in the door,” she reported. “It is a very competitive place. This is 1 of the items that helps attract candidates: obtaining the overall flexibility of Design Your Day.”

Since 50 to 60% of Dow employees are required to be on internet site for their positions all or most of the time, Weideman stated, the corporation is looking at how it can develop Style and design Your Working day to advantage its full workforce.

“We’re entirely conscious that not every purpose at Dow is open to the same sort of adaptability,” he reported. “We have got plans to update spaces where individuals are required to go in (to operate). We’re also exploring the possible about additional shift adaptability and change swapping via digital capabilities. We did construct Structure Your Day for anyone at Dow, not just portion of the (workforce).”