Flex time? … Or Fear?

CNN posted an article about the current trend to, when offered flex time options at work, turn them down.  The thought apparently is that face-time in the office is more important.   I can understand this to a certain extent if you have a boss who (mistakenly) equates face-time with quality of work.  In any other case I’m just not sure I understand why someone would turn down an offer of flex time from their employer, even with the current economy we find ourselves in.

The part that disturbed me most about this article however was the employee who had been using flex time options from her employer for three years. The article says about Jennifer Clarin:

But Clarin says she actually works harder at home. There’s no draining commute, and she makes sure she’s available for nights and weekends as a gesture of gratitude to her company, Boardroom Communications.

I completely reject the notion that because someone is using flex time options that they should make sure they’re available for nights and weekends…especially as a ‘gesture of gratitude’.   The fact is most people work harder and *more* hours if they work at home than in an office.  As noted for Clarin there is no commute time and someone working at home generally has fewer distractions, not more, than if they were working at the office.  If you’re working harder you shouldn’t then have to give up the rest of your life as a ‘gesture of gratitude’.

Both sides of the employment equation benefit from flex time options whether that means working from home, flexible hours, etc.   Scheduling things outside of work becomes easier for the employee and the employer gets better quality work.   I’m still trying to figure out why companies seem to be taking away these options these days instead of expanding them.

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