The Background

Ask4Flex is a public service campaign initiated by Rupert & Company to maximize the effectiveness of the Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance and broader flexibility for employers and employees.

Rupert & Company’s principals have been championing workplace flexibility since 1972. We used flexible schedules to staff a Redwood City medical start-up in 1972 and several San Francisco firms over the next decade.

In 1986, Paul Rupert joined the City’s pioneering flexibility advocacy organization, New Ways to Work, where he directed a national campaign encouraging flexible schedules in major employers.

For the last two decades he has developed the leading flexibility consultancy to US and US-based global companies. Rupert & Company has built highly successful and enduring initiatives within its clients based on several core principles:

Demographic, work process and technology changes create intensifying demand for flexibility

Businesses embrace flexibility most widely when its seen as voluntary and business-beneficial

Fairness and consistency are greatest when impact – not reasons for – flex determine decisions

Collaboration between employee and manager built on a request form build superior outcomes

In the last ten years, the UK, Australia and others have adopted so-called mandatory flex request laws – the model on which San Francisco based its ordinance.

We have worked in that period with many global clients. In all cases our approach has met and exceeded the goals of country mandates. Family member employees can make the same business-beneficial or business-neutral proposal as all other employees, and with high rates of approval.

Over the years, San Francisco and Silicon Valley, in particular, have been proud strongholds of “informal” flexibility and reluctant or resistant fans of formal approaches. (Yahoo! offered a clear exclamation point in 2013.) In the interest of the city and its families, San Francisco has met uncertain informality with the first formal US right to request legislation.

Ask4Flex distills the experience of hundreds of companies, thousands of managers and hundreds of thousands of employees who have turned flex requests into mutual gain.

The Manager and Employee Guides cover the letter of FFWO requirements and add the best practice spirit of companies with successful flexibility initiatives.

We trust they will be helpful in making 2014 a more flexible year, and that you will let us know how we can improve the site to better serve your needs.


       A Public Service of Rupert & Company

                      Copyright ©2014 Rupert & Company