Esther Cannizzaro: Flex Work Stories of Success
HR Manager for the UC Davis Library
Esther Cannizzaro, HR Manager for the UC Davis Library, works on-site on Tuesdays and at home all other workdays, like the rest of her team.
Coincidentally, she and her colleagues shifted to a partially remote work arrangement right before the COVID-19 pandemic. They had already moved all their working materials to Google Drive, so when UC Davis suspended campus operations, they were prepared to work from home.
"My team and I were extremely busy during the pandemic, because we managed other departments' flexible work arrangements. We were dealing with all of the employee questions, COVID-19 leaves, many other HR things that were impacted by the pandemic — and we did it seamlessly. I was so proud of my team and how well we were able to adapt."
Her experience as an HR Flexible Work Liaison, working with other HR business partners, has helped Cannizzaro appreciate the wide range of potential flexible work arrangements available at UC Davis. When Cannizzaro works with customers she notes that working remotely is just one aspect of a flexible work arrangement. It can involve, for instance, shifting an employee's hours so they work longer days over a shorter workweek. Cannizzaro also emphasized the importance of supervisors working closely with those whose flexible work arrangements they're managing, and applying "out-of-the-box thinking" to negotiate a schedule that both meets an employee’s personal needs and allows them to meet the demands of their jobs.
"It makes for a better work environment if you feel like you can talk to your supervisor and come up with something that works for both of you,” Cannizzaro says. “And sometimes, when you give them that, the payback is double."