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The Custom-Fit Workplace: Choose When, Where, and How to Work and Boost Your Bottom Line Hardcover – August 9, 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description

In this book, Blades and Fondas offer business professionals an indispensable handbook for transforming the way we work and breaking free from the old, inflexible, 40-hour workweek. The authors show creative ways for individuals to fit work requirements with life obligations, and persuade managers to adopt these custom-fit work strategies to improve their bottom line. Readers will finish the book convinced of the place of custom-fit work arrangements in today’s workplace—and of how honoring employees’ lives outside of work is an effective and innovative strategy for both managers and organizations. Featuring compelling stories of companies like Jet Blue, Ernst & Young, and Best Buy, the book profiles strategies that are gaining traction in workplaces across the country: 

·        New twists on traditional flexible hours and part-time work strategies

·        Virtual workplaces

·        Results-Only Work Environments (ROWEs)

·        “Babies at Work” programs

·        “On ramp and off ramp” opportunities

Practical and engaging, The Custom-Fit Workplace provides individuals and employers the tools they need to be successful and happy both at work and in life.

5 Ways to Custom-Fit Your Workplace
Amazon-exclusive content from authors Joan Blades and Nanette Fondas

1. Embrace Flexibility.
Flex time, job-sharing, compressed schedules: these practices are needed now more than ever as people juggle the demands of work and other life commitments. Young people, older employees, parents and non-parents alike all need flexibility at times. And when they get it, productivity soars.

2. Go Virtual.
Whether it’s for one employee, one business unit, or an entire company, virtual work is here to help. Here to make our lives saner, our environmental impact smaller, and our businesses more efficient. The virtual office is virtually perfect.

3. Realize Only Results Matter.
Today business competitiveness depends upon results. Period. Organizations that focus on results create a culture of high performance and high commitment that rewards them in spades. Employees don’t quit. Employees go the extra mile. Customers return again and again because service is good and product quality is great.

4. Merge a Workforce of Lane Changers.
Today’s workers are a diverse lot: some stay in the fast-lane, some slow down for a while and return energized, some thrive at a steady pace for decades. Success is creating career paths that maximize each person’s ability to contribute. Realizing how to lead a workforce of young, old, fast, slow, single, parent, newcomers, and veteran workers is a new challenge, but one which ensures that everyone thrives.

5. Let a Baby Come to Work.
As the saying goes, “they’re not small for very long.” When a valued employee gives birth or adopts a child, sometimes the simplest solution is to let the infant come to work with the parent for a few months. Businesses are making this new practice work for both the worker and the bottom line.

From Publishers Weekly

Blades (The Motherhood Manifesto) and Fondas explore the latest innovations in flexible work arrangements – from Babies-at-Work to Results-Only Environments - in this guide to the increasingly-customized workforce. The authors do a good job of portraying the multiple, and often conflicting, demands on the modern worker; children, colds, commutes, continuing education, caregiving for elders, and career ladders all compete for workers' energy, time, and attention. They point out common barriers to progress, the traditions, conventions, mistrust, and misunderstandings that prevent workers and employers from arranging a better fit. Blades, who co-founded Moms Rising, and Fondas, an award-winning journalist, come equipped with the usual success stories about novel arrangements improving productivity and profits in the workplace but offer little data to support tangible results, instead relying on stats like "a 400% increase in the number of employees who reported feeling "good" or "great" about their worklife balance." To truly convince the skeptical, more research is required. However, Blades and Fondas present a fine compendium of alternative work arrangements for managers, employees, and human resource professionals to draw from should they find convention not working. (Sept.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (August 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470633530
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470633533
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,110,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As I worked my way through this book, I couldn't help but thinking that this is a 'must read' for both moms and managers. Nearly all of my friends have impressive resumes, with advanced degrees from prestigious universities and compelling work experience to boot.....and, they all stay at home now with their young children. The current conditions in MOST workplaces do not work for mothers, or fathers, for that matter! As the authors put it, "our families, health and communities are on a collision course with our jobs." This book provides practical insights on how both potential employees and employers can create a new kind of workplace. I hope that hiring managers will read this and realize that there's a vast, untapped talent pool- IF they can embrace the kind of innovative approaches advocated in this book. And, for me, a mom standing on the sidelines, wondering how to get back in the game, chapters like "Off-Ramps and On-Ramps" are particularly helpful. Joan Blades & Nanette Fondas have given me hope....hope that there's a legitimate path for companies to get beyond the 'work-life-balance' cliche, and create the kind of 'custom-fit' that works better for everyone. My only request....start working on the Custom-Fit Workplace II....I'd love to see more case studies, following the experiences of companies that used this book as a template!
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Format: Hardcover
Today's workplace is profoundly out of sync with the needs of today's workers. Longs hours, rigid schedules, and lack of parental leave was (sort of) fine, as long as one parent (usually mom) stayed home with the kids. Now that about 70% of mothers in the U.S. work, let's agree that this system is officially broken.

Why don't we change? Because business leaders are stuck in their old, crusty, stale ways of thinking. Which is why there is such a GREAT NEED FOR THIS BOOK. It makes a compelling case for why businesses need to change, and describes how many forward-thinking companies are already doing it. Specific strategies the book describes include

* flexible schedules
* remote work
* off- and on-ramping
* contract work
* allowing babies at work
* transforming into "high commitment workplaces"

I think what makes the book particularly useful is that it is packed with case studies and statistics (we all love numbers, don't we?) from a wide range of industries, proving these ideas are more than utopian theory. They have helped countless companies (like Deloitte & Touches, USAA, and Costco) save money and increase profits.

I think this book has potential to spark wide-reaching change in how we think about work. Buy a copy for yourself, and another one for your boss, your HR manager, or everyone on your management team.
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Format: Hardcover
Reading this book made me want to do a call-and-response "amen" every few pages! Our lives, and technology, changed very drastically a very long time ago. So why does workplace strategy still count on an invisible "wife" at home who's taking care of my kids, my health, my home while I'm at the office? The ideas are not rocket science: treat people well and give them responsibility for both their work and their lives, use technological advances to our benefit, make work schedules and personal needs fit together instead of fighting one another, don't hold on to the "ideal" workplace of the 1950s--whether you're a union or factory or a tech corporation--just because it's the devil you know. Intelligent, well-researched, and above all very HUMAN, this book gave me hope for a future where productivity and creativity skyrocket, where absenteeism and stress plummet, and no one is forced to choose between their job and their life. Amen to that.
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Format: Hardcover
This is one of the few non-fiction books I've read that I couldn't put down. Blades and Fondas write in a friendly, accessible manner, and their ideas are so exciting that I had to keep reading. They articulate the many ways in which organizations and their employees can prioritize individual health, the well-being of families, and a balanced lifestyle, while actually getting more out of workers and making the organization more successful. As a new parent who had to help my former employer, an academic institution, create a custom-fit workplace for me, I was excited to have something in my hands that could be a roadmap for people in my situation--and for their employers. Similarly, as I watch my husband, in a new job at a Silicon Valley start-up company, try to negotiate the demands of his job and his commitment to our new family, I find myself thinking that I wish his start-up was as innovative in its ability to meet its employees' personal needs as it is in its creation of technology. In fact, in some ways, I almost feel that it's start-ups--some of the edgiest organizations out there--that need to implement these ideas the most urgently, in order to avoid employee burn-out. Blades understands this--she and her husband ran the software company Berkeley Systems for years. Fondas' and Blades' research is solid; the book is peppered with engaging case studies that illustrate their points. I'm hopeful that the ideas in this book become the norm for American workers.
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