10/21/2013 – What Do Managers Think about Flexibility? (Sloan Center for Aging and Work)

Flexible work options–especially those that provide for variations in the time or place of work–are strategies often suggested to enhance employee effectiveness. And yet, like good jobs in general, access to flexible work options is limited and unevenly allocated.

Even when employers adopt formal policies to provide latitude in scheduling or place of work, managers almost always have final approval. Managers can (and commonly do) provide informal access, ignoring policies that may prohibit use of flexible work options (Kelly & Kalev, 2006). Managers also can (and commonly do) use discretion to restrict or penalize access in both implicit and explicit ways, putting flexible work options that are on the books out of employees’ reach (Barnett, Gareis, Gordon, & Brennan, 2009; Eaton, 2003). Thus there is little doubt that managerial attitudes toward flexible work arrangements contribute to unevenness in implementation and use.

Read the full report at the Sloan Center for Aging and Work.