The flexible work culture has become a true phenomenon. Working from home only came about recently when technology became so advanced that we no longer needed to be in the office to work productively and effectively. A big factor in propelling the flexible work culture was the creation of The Cloud (which is one of my A-B-C-D’s), because this allows for professionals to work from virtually anywhere there is Internet access. But, at what cost does working flexibly come with when it comes to your career and your team members’ careers?
First, those who thrive in the traditional office setting with the fancy coffee maker and the 9-5 work schedule may find it hard to operate productively when their team members do not have the same schedule. Working from home can also blur the lines between work and personal time. It also (potentially) loses the synergy of collaborating in person.
What’s more, the one-size-fits-all design might not work for all of your team members. There are as many extroverts as there are introverts —and a flexible workplace (both the physical space and the flexible culture of the company) may not be the best for everyone.
How Your Flexible Work Schedule May Be Hindering Your Team Members’ Careers
When you work in a team-oriented environment, collaboration is key. When your team members cannot physically see you working and see your productivity, oftentimes this casts a shadow of doubt on how much you are actually getting done when you are working off-site or at odd hours. Compressed work weeks can make client interactions complicated since certain clients may not operate on a flexible schedule like you do.
When it comes to your team members’ careers, it’s important to know that not all roles operate in the same way. While one team member may have a job that allows them to work off-site, this may not be the same case for other team members. If you do have a flexible work schedule, and if you are working at home or working late, make sure that you are being productive with your time. Your team depends on you, so turn off Netflix while working and really get to grinding. Also, make sure you are available if and when something comes up
Flexible Work Schedules Sometimes Require Sacrifice
If your role is client-facing, you may find yourself sacrificing your work from home time to go into the office for meetings and presentations. You also sacrifice the idea that work and home are separated because the two areas of your life will naturally mesh. This may make it harder for you to collaborate with team members and network with colleagues. When you aren’t in the office, it is harder to communicate with team members because you are not face-to-face, which could delay completing projects, etc. You also open a window for more miscommunication, which can affect clients and projects directly. The bottom line is when working in a flexible manner, you need to be consistent in your efforts and make sure you are making the best efforts to communicate effectively.