It takes the right mindset, as well as confidence and grit, to overcome flex stigma when working a reduced hours or flexible schedule.

Do You Have the Right Mindset to Overcome Flex Stigma?

This is the third in a series of seven blog posts featuring advice on our Seven Strategies for Flex Success®. We’ve covered Defining Your Success and Owning Your Value, now it’s time to activate your mindset and grit to overcome any flex bias you may encounter. Register for our online Flex Success® Institute to learn more detailed steps to successfully navigate your flexible schedule and maximize your career potential.

We’re not going to lie to you. It’s not always going to be easy to transition from being in the office full-time to a flexible work schedule. While many industries have come a long way in understanding the value flexible work policies provide, biases still exist. No matter where you work, you may come across co-workers who think you’re less committed to the job because you work reduced hours. You may also be faced with supervisors who question your time at home and whether you are actually working when you’re not physically in the office.

It’s best to be prepared for these obstacles, and when they do arise, it’s important to maintain your confidence and harness your grit. You know you are meeting the needs and deadlines of your team and/or clients. You know you are following your company’s flexible work policy guidelines as well as your own personal flex plan. And, you know the quality of your work has not diminished at all (in fact it may have improved.)

Most of these hurdles and biases should be temporary bumps in the road. Activate your “big-picture,” growth mindset and remind yourself that working flexibly is actually better for you and your organization because it’s helping ensure a longer, more steadfast relationship.

“My skills and work ethic didn’t change even if my schedule did.”

Do not be persuaded to overcommit on projects trying to prove you’re a dedicated employee. As one law firm partner working flex noted, ”I knew there was a stigma to working flex so I over-compensated by taking on too much. Looking back, I would have had better communication with my colleagues and not been so hard on myself. I know my skills and work ethic didn’t change even if my schedule did.”

Don’t feel guilty.

The key is to remember that flexible work policies are implemented, just like any other business initiative, because they are beneficial to the organization’s bottom line. Whether it’s a temporary or permanent adjustment to your schedule, working flexibly allows you to remain at your job while also filling other voids in your life. It’s a positive solution to a common business challenge, and you should not feel guilty. One executive told us, “If you decide to work flexibly, and that’s what works for you and your employer, then there’s nothing to apologize for.”

If all else fails be blunt!

Even if you face your new schedule with confidence and grit, you may still deal with unconscious and conscious bias towards working flexibly. As another law firm partner told us, “When an attorney commented about me leaving at 5:30, I told him he could take his wallet out and leave 20% of his salary on the table, then he could leave too!”

Want to learn more about harnessing your mindset and grit? Register today for our Flex Success® Institute and you’ll participate in five virtual, interactive webinars, as well as one private coaching session with Alliance CEO Manar Morales to specifically address your unique challenges.  

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