Busted: Five myths about flexible work that companies should disregard

Though managers and business leaders may feel like implementing more flexible work policies, many just won’t work for them. 

However, according to Harvard Business Review, flexible work plans can work in any industry. 

A recent Harvard Business School online study showed that most professionals have excelled in their jobs while working from home, and 81% either don’t want to go back to the office or would choose a hybrid schedule post-pandemic.  

Most of the reasoning behind a company’s reluctance to implement a flex (or hybrid) work policy for its employees comes down to a belief in five myths: that making the leap will result in a loss of control, company culture, collaboration, contribution and connection. 

HBR recommends a few things to addressing these fears, or “bust these myths” 

• Loss of control—Executives may worry that if they let a few employees work from home, then the office will always be empty and no one will be working. The answer to this is structure. Organizations should provide clear guidelines on the types of flexibility offered (for example, remote work, reduced hours, asynchronous schedules, job sharing and/or compressed work weeks) and create a centralized approval process for flexibility to ensure that the system is equitable. 

• Loss of culture—While you may not see every employee every day, and you may not be able to have lunch with people every day, culture does not have to suffer with a flexible work initiative as long as people are talking to one another either via video call or in-person meetings on a regular basis. 

• Loss of collaboration—As long as teams that are working a flexible schedule commit to regular meetings and consistent communication, then collaboration will not be compromised. 

• Loss of contribution—All employees should be evaluated on the quality of their work and their ability to meet clearly defined performance objectives, rather than on time spent in the office or how productive they appear to be.

• Loss of connection—Technology now enables people to connect at any time of the day in almost any location.  Read the full story here.