How do you campaign for accessibility and flexibility in your workplace when the policies are less than ideal? Yesterday’s post on how to lighten your tote bag got me thinking — I was so intrigued by the commenters who noted that they have to carry a huge, bulky laptop to and from the office because that is the the only approved way to get access to the office system. When I was working in BigLaw, my firm used Citrix to give everyone access to the Docs Open system and other office programs — there were even times you could access document review programs from home. (Ah, glory days.) The only thing we needed to access the system was a small, flat device (a 2″ by 1″ fob) that displayed a long number that changed every thirty seconds. When you needed to log into the system, you entered the current security number. That was five years ago, so it honestly didn’t occur to me that companies with information security issues would not be using something similar to Citrix in 2013. (Even the Department of Defense has a better remote access option, according to a 2011 Lifehacker article.) Maybe there are good reasons Reader R’s company isn’t using a secure remote system — but maybe it’s just an old policy that hasn’t been reevaluated in a while or from the right perspective.
So readers, let’s talk about this — how do you change an office policy to make the conditions better for you (and those who come after you)? Sheryl Sandberg talked a bit about this in Lean In — regarding how she insisted that the Google parking lot have spaces reserved for expectant mothers — and this was kind of mentioned in a recent NYT article about workplace flexibility — but I can’t seem to find much else about this topic on the Internet. For my $.02, here are some ideas… [Read more…]