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CustomFit Workplace blog

The CustomFit Workplace blog is part of the MomsRising.org Open, Flexible Work blog. It is a place where workers, managers, educators and Human Resources professionals can share their insights and questions. The views expressed in this blogs aren't necessarily representative of the CustomFitWorkplace.org initiative or of MomsRising.org policy positions. Interested in blogging? drop us a line

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Working in the Regenerative Economy

“If we want stronger communities and more fulfilling, connected lives, we’re going to have to build them – together.” – Sara Horowitz, Freelancers Union

 

Federal officials say the “Great Recession” ended in June 2009, 18 months after it started. But for many Americans, the recession’s ripple effects still linger: job insecurity and the housing bubble have rattled our faith in the leaders and institutions we came to rely on.

Despite the economic devastation it caused, the recession has given us a great opportunity too: the chance to redefine work culture and the “good life.”

In some American cities where economic hardship has lasted decades longer than the recent recession, the seeds of this new economy are sprouting.

Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio is a collection of worker-owned businesses that do three great things: they provide workers with good wages and a voice in the future of the business; they inject money into the local economy; and they provide sustainable products and services. Win-win-win.

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Three Ways to Raise Wages

For a lot of working people, this holiday season will be one of belt-tightening rather than shopping sprees. Let’s face it, our wages just aren’t keeping up the way they used to. Here’s a fact: Average income for the least rich 90% of us has been flat since the 1970s, although people are working more hours. Not a recipe for a holiday-buying bonanza.

The answer isn’t to cut back even more, it’s to raise wages. One sure way to put more money in consumers’ pockets and place upward pressure on pay is by raising the minimum wage—a sorely needed move that is stymied in Congress, although 20 states and as many localities have raised their minimum wages over the past two years.

But that’s not the only way.

Let’s look at three other paths to raising wages where we can see progress now:

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Raising the Minimum Wage and Affordable Child Care Go Hand in Hand

This post, authored by Traci Donnelly, originally appeared on TalkPoverty.org. A minimum wage increase will not help families exit poverty by itself – we need other work supports that ease the economic strain on families. TalkPoverty.org is dedicated to demonstrating that we know how to dramatically reduce poverty; we just need to build the political will. Make sure to like TalkPoverty on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

A few years ago, a young man named Israel and his wife enrolled their daughter in one of our Early Head Start programs. Israel, the son of Mexican immigrants, worked long hours as a barber. His wife worked too, but the family still lived below the poverty line.  Initially, they were simply glad that their daughter had a welcoming and safe place to go every day, and that they could work more hours without paying for costly childcare. But gradually Israel began to notice something he hadn’t anticipated.

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My #1 life balance secret

“Are you listening to your life; what is it trying to tell you?” Renee Trudeau

Most people are surprised to hear that I love making a big pot of minestrone soup for my family and friends as much as I love getting invited to go to India to speak to a women’s group on work/life balance. So after almost six weeks of speaking gigs and travel, I’m ready to be at home, anchor, reconnect with my family and get clear on my top priorities. One of the ways I do this after a busy time, is by taking a personal planning retreat.

I take personal retreats-usually each quarter–to sit with the questions, “What is uniquely mine to do?” and “What is the best use of my energy and talents in the next 3 months?”

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How Telework Helps Working Moms Juggle the Holiday Season

Ahh, the holidays. The next 60-or-so days until the end of the year will be jam-packed with busy schedules, school events, work deadlines, and...stress. For working moms who have in-office jobs, the holidays, combined with balancing their jobs, can be a difficult time of year. That stress is significantly lowered, though, when they have the ability to work from home, even occasionally.

Here are three scenarios in which telecommuting helps working moms juggle the holidays.

The Morning Rush

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