First of all, ‘flexible schedule’ is an oxymoron. By definition, there’s nothing flexible about a schedule. The second you get your new flexible schedule, life happens. All of a sudden you need to go to the Dentist at 2:00 in the afternoon on Wednesday when Friday is your day off. Boy that puts you in a pickle. Now you have to inform your manager you’re leaving early or even worse, you may need to get permission to go off schedule. You feel naughty and even guilty, because your manager was so nice to allow you that flexible schedule in the first place – and now you seem to be taking advantage of it.
And the second you get that flexible schedule, everyone else wants one. How come you got one? Oh, that's right. You have kids. I wish I had kids. And you’ve been here two years so you’ve earned it. And the manager decided your job, but not mine, can be flexible. And countless other reasons that arise. Flexibility programs bless some people with an accommodation -- but not all people. And it’s up to the manager’s discretion. You can only hope to suck up enough.
Third, being on a flexible schedule is like having a neon sign on your forehead flashing, ‘My priorities are out of whack!’, ‘I’m not as dedicated to work as the rest of the team’ or ‘My career is taking a backseat to my life.’ Oops. You just tripped and fell a few rungs down on the career ladder. Oh you silly, flexible work schedule!
A ROWE goes where no ‘so last century’ flexibility program will ever go by leveling the playing field. After all, who can argue with the fact that people need to achieve agreed upon, measurable results to get a paycheck? There are a million arguments a day about who gets to be flexible, who’s earned flexibility, or who should be deemed ‘able to be flexible’. These arguments waste the time of managers who should be focusing on other things – namely, making it clear to each person what they were hired to do, and how to measure it. Yet these managers are spending precious time managing something that will never be fairly managed – at least, that’s how the people wanting flexibility see it.