Why Bosses Say “No” to Flexible Work Arrangements (and what you can do about it).
Part 3 of a Series: They Have the Wrong Idea about Fairness
Despite some prominent examples of companies with progressive cultures when it comes to work-family balance (see this list for examples), most company cultures and supervisors are not particularly supportive, especially of dads trying to balance work and family. Most companies demand long work hours and promote “face time” or “time at the office” as proxy measures for performance and dedication to the company (see this article for an excellent discussion).
It is brave to stand out and make a case for a time and place flexibility for your work. However, it is not impossible, and, depending on your situation, it may be well worth it despite the risks.
Like any request or negotiation, the key is to see the situation from the other person’s side and then communicate so that you dispel most of their concerns and show them how they benefit from the arrangement (Fisher & Ury’s “Getting to Yes” or Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”). The first step is anticipating why your supervisor may say no and proactively address these concerns.