Herman Miller – Furniture Manufacturer

At Herman Miller, we recognize that transitioning from a career into retirement is not easy. While many of us look forward to more relaxation, travel, and family time, retirement is also filled with many unknowns. Have I saved enough money? What will I do with my time? Will I miss my friends and colleagues at work?

Retirement is challenging for businesses as well, because when seasoned employees leave, they take years of knowledge and wisdom along with them. The typical service among our employees is quite long, which means that a significant percentage of our workforce is quickly approaching retirement. This required us to think critically about the future talent needs of our company, and devise a unique solution that benefits both our team members and Herman Miller.

Our solution: FlexRetirement, a phased retirement program that allows our team members to transition out of work over a six month to two-year period. The program launched in 2012, and is available to all employees 60 years of age or older with at least five years of service. Participants benefit by working fewer hours per week, but still maintaining an income, benefits, and connections to social networks. The next generation of talent benefits through a deliberate plan for mentorship and the opportunity to advance as a result of these development opportunities. And Herman Miller is able to more accurately identify talent gaps and strategically plan to address those needs.

The FlexRetirement program is just one example of Flexible Work Arrangements we offer our team members (shown below.) For employees who may not be ready to commit to a retirement date, FlexYear, FlexPartTime or regular part time employment are other options to ease into retirement. The Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) Program is something all of our team members can utilize, no matter their unique circumstances or the stage of life they’re in.

The FlexRetirement Program has been a win-win for Herman Miller and our workforce. Not only are we supporting our employees as they embark on a new chapter in life, we’re also positioning the company for success as we navigate the talent shift.

  • FlexTime allows participants to work hours that are outside the standard 8:00 am – 5:00 pm shift, often coming in earlier or later.
  • FlexWeek enables participants to compress their work week into fewer days by working longer shifts for several days.
  • FlexPlace is for team members who need to work in a different physical location other than the standard Herman Miller office.
  • FlexPartTime is great for those who are trying to ease back into work – often times after the birth of a child or other major life change – and they can work temporarily part time until they’re ready to return as a full time employee.
  • The FlexShare program allows team members to share responsibilities with another team member and work part time.
  • The FlexYear accommodates unique circumstances where someone may need to take an extended period of time off. They may have travel plans or need to tend to family matters, but plan on returning to work at a later point in the year.
  • FlexRetirement allows our team members to transition out of work over a six month to two-year period.


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 •  Herman Miller  •  Columbia University  •  Scripps Health