Three Workplace Flex Myths

Conversations about employee compensation can be uncomfortable, especially when asking for a raise or more flexibility.

According to Mercer’s 2012 Compensation Policies and Practices Survey, 65 percent of U.S. employers say they offer flexible work hours.

The type of flexibility is highly dependent on level of seniority. Senior level working moms have room for negotiation.

Still, there are some pesky flex work myths that get in the way of the ask:

The myth of “seeing is believing.” When looking for flexibility, you may think, “If I’m not seen working, I won’t be seen as productive.” Professionals often worry their supervisor will think they’re at home watching TV and eating bonbons. And those who actually do that – aren’t helping.

A 2010 Brigham Young University study found that IBM’s telecommuters generated 19 more hours of work per week than their in-office coworkers. Flexibility can result in a happier, more productive employee, and progressive companies know this. So don’t be afraid to ask.

The “distraction” myth. You like the idea of working from home, but you’re not sure how to separate work from home and fear decreased productivity.

Life coach Martha Beck offers this insight in a Huffington Post piece on how to separate the two. “When you’re done working, put away work-related things. And while you’re working, try not to surround yourself with a great deal of ‘homey things’ that will distract and confuse you.”

The “teleworkers are just work-from-home moms” myth. Flexibility is at the top of your career checklist, maybe because you have children, maybe not. It’s not just a mom thing.

According to virtual office experts A Better Virtual, today’s teleworkers are typically men in their 40s.

From mom-to-be to empty nester, your need for flexibility is a reflection of the pursuit of the best possible Life/Work situation.

Bonus PINK Link: Feeling stuck in middle management? Here’s how to get out.

Did you negotiate a flexible work schedule?

By Allison O’Kelly

Allison is founder and CEO of Mom Corps, a national professional staffing firm with a focus on flexible work. Follow her at @MomCorps or @AllisonOKelly.

“I think it’s a false trade-off to say quality time vs. quantity. You have to have both.” Hilary Clinton

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