Just before Labor Day, author Laura Vanderkam noted that despite what many people think, men are twice as likely as women to give up 10 percent of their salaries in exchange for some kind of workplace flexibility.
Is it that men earn more than women, so they’ve got more leeway? Are men looking for a way to balance work responsibilities with family responsibilities? Is it that people may be more productive at home than they are at the office?
Vanderkam’s not sure, and it’s not clear that she much cares. What she wants to know is why do people always ask employees to make the trade off between salary and flexibility. Why aren’t companies recognizing that when employees work at home they’re happier, more loyal, and more productive?
I have to wonder if it’s hidebound conservatism, which isn’t a good approach to business nowadays. Flexible approaches to work are almost casual dress was in the late 90s, when established companies resisted the cool startup practice of letting people wear clothes that were, if nothing else, more comfortable around the office.
Flexible work has higher stakes, though. And Vanderkam’s correct when she points out, “Those are attributes worth paying more for, rather than less. No matter what gender you happen to be.”