Many companies are now offering more flexible work options in order to retain their top talent pool, especially women. But does this flex time work for or against women’s career advancement? And how important is this to women?
According to a recent survey by Catalyst, men and women use flex options equally but women are much more likely than their male counterparts to work remotely if given the opportunity. This results in less face time in the workplace which has a negative effect on their careers.
Because men use flexible arrival and departure time instead of telecommuting, they have more face time and are, therefore, more likely to be viewed favorably for promotions and high profile assignments.
Companies rarely promote people into leadership roles who haven’t been consistently seen and measured. It’s a familiarity thing, and it’s a trust thing. We’re not saying that the people who get promoted are star during every ‘crucible’ moment at the office, but at least they’re present and accounted for. And their presence says: Work is my top priority. I’m committed to this company. I want to lead. And I Can. (Welch and Welch, 2007:92)