Consider Fairness Before Granting a Flexible Work Schedule

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When an employee comes to you asking for a flexible schedule, you might be tempted to say yes. But giving one person tailor-made working conditions can easily be perceived as favoritism. Before saying yes (or no), ask yourself three questions:

o What is the employee asking for and why? If there is a legitimate reason for the request, it will be easier for others to understand.

o Do I feel comfortable communicating this deal to other team members? If not, chances are others will find the deal suspect.

o Will saying yes make things difficult for others? For example, if one person negotiates a reduced workload, the rest of the team might have to cover for them.

Flexibility has been shown to increase employee engagement and productivity, so you should try to grant these arrangements when you can. Just think carefully about the impact on the team before you do.

Adapted from “How to Allow Flexible Work Without Playing Favorites,” by Elise Marescaux and Sophie De Winne

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