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City of Lino Lakes, Minnesota Will Offer More Flexibility For Employees

5 Mins read

The city of Lino Lakes is in Anoka County, Minnesota, United States. It’s a small city with a population of 20,216 at the 2010 census. And going by that figure, the city surely need to retain all the good hands that comes their way. 

The “The Great Resignation” is all over the place, and proactive businesses and cities will act fast before things go out of hand. In an effort to recruit and retain talent in the job market and avoid “The Great Resignation,” the city is making some changes to its policies. […]

Meg Sawyer, the Human Resources and Communications Manager explained that for the purpose of recruiting and retaining the best talent in the city of Lino Lakes market, an update is needed to the city’s office dress code policy. Currently, the policy encourages business casual attire, but the change would allow for “dress for your day.” 

Go Business Casual or Dress For Your Day

“We are kind of trying to define what is and is not allowed,” explained City Administrator Sarah Cotton. “Our current policy just says ‘business casual.’ And I can tell you that sometimes, we see some pretty extreme liberties in what staff might consider business casual.” 

Cotton added, “We are trying to strike a balance between what is appropriate and what isn’t appropriate for the work place, but allowing some flexibility.” Whereas flip-flops, Crocs and sweatpants would not be appropriate. However, dress sandals and nice jeans would be. 

… the city has already lost one employee. The person found a job that allowed for the hybrid model. 

The policy allows for non-uniformed employees to use their best judgment when deciding what to wear to work every day, and offers some basic guidelines. Per the policy, employees would be allowed to wear casual clothing on workdays. That is when they do not have council meetings, work sessions, conferences or meetings with residents or other outside third parties. Employees will still be expected to wear clothing appropriate for an office environment. There may be days when special visitors are expected at city facilities. On such days, all staff may be required to forgo “dress for your day” and wear business casual attire. 

The city is also considering adopting a flexible work arrangement policy. This would allow employees to work in City Hall some days and from home other days. 

Offering Flexibility to Get Productive Worklife Balance

“The city’s goal is to maintain or improve employee productivity while providing employees scheduling options that encourage a productive, healthy and safe workplace and helps employees effectively integrate and manage their work and personal life responsibilities; and can enhance their overall well-being and improve job satisfaction,” Sawyer explained. “By allowing employees to have a better work-life balance, we are encouraging them to become more fulfilled in their personal lives. As well as having them hold their work in much higher regard. An increase in employee happiness, engagement and morale means more productive employees.” 

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Sawyer explained that the policy will also reduce employee absenteeism and tardiness. And that will be possible as workers are allowed to flex hours around home and family obligations. 

The Fear of Hybrid

However, Mayor Rob Rafferty had some concerns. And it’s all got to do with employees ability to still maintain a certain level of customer service that residents of the City of Lino Lakes have come to expect. On the flip side, he also wondered whether not allowing a flexible work arrangement can be counter productive. If it would hamper the city’s ability to retain employees. Sawyer said the city has already lost one employee. The person found a job that allowed for the hybrid model. 

Cotton said she initially did have some concerns about performance. But it all comes down to managers holding employees accountable. More over, the arrangement will only be offered when appropriate, and if employees maintain productivity. 

Council Member Michael Ruhland said he could see both sides. Sometimes he feels like he gets more done when he is in the office. However at other times, he feels he can get more done at home. “As long as checks and balances are there and someone is monitoring the situation and stuff is getting done; I don’t have problem with it,” he said. 

Providing evidence that this works, Council Member Tony Cavegn said the company he works for is seeing record profits. Yet, most of the employees are still working from home. 

What Council Will Approve

Council Member Dale Stoesz said he was on board with the policy. He also encouraged city staff to consider offering flexibility to customers. “We should be meeting customers where they are at. Instead of forcing them to come in the doors to interact with staff,” Stoesz explained. He suggested holding virtual meetings and incorporating electronic signatures. 

The City Council was expected to have considered both policy updates at its Dec. 13 meeting.

If approved, Cotton said the next step will be figuring out who is interested in taking advantage of flexible work arrangements. “We will want to make sure we don’t have any gaps in our customer service and our operations at City Hall,” she said. 


Welcome to Work-Life Feed Work-life Daily Trends. Go to https://www.presspubs.com to view the full article on; City of Lino Lakes, Minnesota Will Offer More Flexibility For Employees. The Managing Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or quadnews@presspubs.com. Worklife Feed is not responsible for the content of external sites.

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