RESEARCH CENTRE: Flexitime good for women, bad for men 

Saturday February 27 2016

You are more likely to be successful at work and get promoted faster if you have flexible work arrangements with your employer. However, your man is more likely to feel discouraged and judged if his employer grants him flexible working hours. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOAN THATIAH
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You are more likely to be successful at work and get promoted faster if you have flexible work arrangements with your employer. However, your man is more likely to feel discouraged and judged if his employer grants him flexible working hours.

This is according to a study on work schedules and task arrangements that was conducted by two global management consulting firms. The study established that men don’t thrive when given the power to control how and where they work, unlike female colleagues.

The researchers interviewed 1, 030 staff across Australian workplaces on how they perceived their employers and their use of flexible work arrangements.

They also asked employees to rate their likelihood of recommending their organisation as a viable place to work, and if their organisation was a place where women could attain senior management levels.

DEBUNKING A MYTH

The researchers found that men who had flexible working arrangements were less committed than men who followed strict work schedules and routines.

Men were also twice as likely to have their requests for a flexible work plan rejected than women. According to Meredith Hellicar who co-authored the study, men failed to thrive in a work environment with

flexible hours due to prevailing attitudes and social norms.

Just as women have to bust the myth that they are less ambitious, men face similar judgment as far as flexible work arrangements are concerned.

On the other hand, the study debunked the myth that women who seek flexible working options ultimately end up opting out of their careers.

“We found out that women who work flexibly are equally, if not more, committed to reaching their full career potential than those who don’t,” said the report.

Fifty-seven per cent of women in flexible working models who took part in the survey reported that they were confident of reaching a senior position, while 51 per cent of those who had a rigid 9 to 5 routine

reported the same. In 2015, a related study found that about 50 per cent of women working flexibly were experienced employees or junior to middle managers who were convinced that such working models were critical to women’s advancement in leadership roles.