It’s the new American dream: work full-time, with benefits, but from home — at least part of the time. But flextime gigs aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be. Before you assume that your flexible work schedule is the answer to all your work-life balance problems, here’s what to look at.
(Photo Credit: Tim Pearce/Flickr)
1. Make sure you can really use your flextime.
Harris Interactive recently did a survey where they found that two-thirds of workers say that their companies would allow them to have a flexible schedule — but 47 percent felt that asking for flextime would hurt their chances for promotion. If you can’t use a benefit without being penalized, it’s not really a benefit.
2. Figure out if the corporate culture works with flexible schedules.
The company might not hold it against you if you work different hours, but if you’re missing out on meetings and informal collaborations that help get the job done and showcase your ideas, your career could still suffer. The best-case scenario is an organization where even the top brass work from home from time to time. They’re more likely to accommodate you, both in terms of your schedule and in terms of the technology needed to make working from home truly productive.
3. Balance the job with your other priorities.
Working a flexible schedule might actually mean working more hours than staying in the office. Flextime won’t necessarily take care of a childcare situation, for example, nor will it enable you to work another part-time job during normal working hours. If you want to take advantage of a non-traditional schedule, make sure you understand the company’s expectations and your needs before you commit.
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