In today’s world, flex time is a valuable benefit for many working moms. But while a flex-time schedule might work really well for you and your family, it might also result in frustration for your male co-workers when they can’t reach you during traditional office hours. If you’re a flex-time working mom, you might have a legitimate concern that—even though you’re getting all your work done—your co-workers aren’t viewing you as an equal colleague because they don’t always see you in the office.
As a working mom myself, I get how difficult it can be to balance the demands of your job and the needs of your family.
But it’s important to be aware of how that might be viewed. In my research for The Male Factor, I saw a perception held by nearly all men (and, often, executive-level women). The men may logically know that an offsite colleague is working lots of hours, but it doesn’t feel the same for one reason: they don’t see that person as sharing the same pain. The men I interviewed often mentioned a sports analogy: in the heat of the summer, football teammates would bond during sweltering two-a-day practices, getting in shape to win their games. Never would one teammate say “Coach, I don’t have to practice with the others, because I can get in shape on my own time over here in my air-conditioned gym.” He might technically be correct, but his teammates would not look at him the same because—you guessed it—he didn’t share the same pain.
So what does this mean for you?