Monday, September 27, 2010

Flexibility on Wall Street?

As a former finance professional who switched careers because of it's innate lack of flexibility (e.g. tied to the trading desk during market hours, 60+ hour work weeks, etc.) I was floored by the profile on Briargate Trading, a Wall Street trading firm with uber-flexible hours and scheduling.

The Wall Street Journal profiled the firm and it's culture- working very hard during trading hours but allowing flexibility for things ranging from lunch with children to playing golf and even suntanning on the building's roof- demonstrated that although it might limit the potential upside they have high retention of the best and brightest traders in the business. A recipe for long-term success.

Although this article evokes images of hot shot traders slinking off after the close to hit golf balls, the essential argument is the same for working parents: there is an economic value to flexibility. Companies faced with tight budgets are stiff hiring needs for top talent need to consider this option.

We're seeing this work every day, from the 8a government consulting firm that steals away Big 5 talent by offering 1 day per week telecommuting to the virtual law firm that snags Top 20 law school talent away from AM Law 100 firms by offering a 30 hours work week, smart companies are luring the best talent with flexibility and fair pay.

It's nice to see a tiny glimmer of positive news out of Wall Street.

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