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Expert Says For Workers and Bosses, It Pays To Stay Flexible
Post Date: Sep 17 2015

by Grand Forks Herald
FARGO -- Allison Karl O'Kelly took a musical trivia approach Wednesday when she talked to a Fargo audience about why flexibility is important in today's workplace.

Speaking at the 2015 Governor's Workforce and HR Conference, O'Kelly noted that eight of the top 10 songs of 1965 involved groups, while eight of the top 10 songs of 2014 featured individual artists.

O'Kelly said the modern emphasis on individuality over teamwork extends to the work world, where employees and potential employees are increasingly interested in jobs that offer some type of flexibility.

O'Kelly is the founder and CEO of Mom Corps, a national professional staffing firm with a focus on flexible work.

She was inspired to form the company after she started having children and realized there were others like herself who were looking for flexible work situations.

While flexibility is important to workers, O'Kelly said it is also important to employers who are looking to hire and keep the best talent available.

Companies who don't work on offering flexibility "are going to miss out on this talent," she warned.

That message resonates when many communities in North Dakota are struggling to find qualified workers to fill available job positions.

North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, who also spoke at Wednesday's conference, underscored the situation when he stated North Dakota has about 20,000 unfilled job openings.

"Every one of those unfilled jobs is unfilled potential," he said, adding that while oil production has been an economic windfall for North Dakota, the region and its workers cannot become complacent.

"We have to stay enthusiastic, we have to stay dynamic," Wrigley said.

O'Kelly said that's also true for workers seeking flexibility in their jobs. Employees, too, must be ready to make concessions when the situation calls for it, she said.
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