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6 thoughts on “Are flexible schedules a blessing or a curse?”
I have two experiences with flexible work schedules:
(1) A department in which we had to actually be at work but our boss was pretty lax about when. It was great for doctor’s appointments and such, but there were days that no one was scheduled to be “on” when our public hours began. And, our boss was lax about our hours because she was lax about her own 🙂
(2) I now work from home. I’m productive and make sure I have real downtime. I also love my work and don’t feel I am just being a warm body somewhere.
I like the principle of flexible schedules. I’ve had to work over the weekend, late at night, or super early in the morning to meet deadlines. I’ve had a boss call me while I was in Hawaii (to be fair, he didn’t know *where* I was, just that I was out), and another one call me at 10:45pm Friday night for something non-urgent. So I appreciate having some leeway for the occasional doctor’s visit or trip to the DMV.
Being a receptionist means butt in chair. I don’t have the luxury of working from home, and if I’m supposed to be there at 8 am, that means I’m supposed to get there before it. That’s fine, but it doesn’t leave much room for flexibility, if there’s no one to cover the phone.
I’m pretty sick of the front desk, and I’m hoping to find a way to change that soon. But I’ve always made downtime MY time, and it’s sacred.
My office has an old-school “face-time” culture. We’re expected to use vacation or sick time for any increment of time more than15 minutes that we are absent. Total hours worked per week must always equal at least 40. Consequently, I work as little overtime as humanly possible and I do not answer my (personal) cell phone or respond to email on my off time. Strangely, everybody here is fine with this arrangement. I’ve gotten maybe three phone calls during vacation, two of which were to remind me to set my out of office reminders so that other people could take my calls. I’m starting to believe that there really is something to the idea of creating personal boundaries.
I think it really depends on how the business is run. Some employees can handle a flexible schedule where others wouldn’t know what to do with the flexibility. Some just need the rigid structure to be productive.
The idea of working on a flexible schedule is a great one. It’s just that some people tend to misuse this to slack off or overwork themselves.
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