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Many people think of workplace flexibility as flexibility that is provided on a long term, regular basis — for example, flexibility provided through alternative work schedules, compressed workweeks, or part time positions. Under Workplace Flexibility 2010’s conceptualization, however, workplace flexibility also includes the ability to address day-to-day life needs on a short term basis.

Short term needs for flexibility are numerous: to recover from an illness; take care of a sick child; attend a school conference, funeral or medical appointment; wait for a repair person; or appear in court. Some needs may be anticipated; others will arise unexpectedly.