Question:What beliefs do you have about flexible work options that may not be true?

We all hold beliefs about how we must work, especially around what it means to be a “good” worker.  One long-standing belief I held was that being a good worker meant putting in a lot of hours.  This belief started early in my career working in a “Big 6” consulting firm where the norm was 16 hour days including weekend work.  I carried this belief into the next stage of my career as a director in a large corporation.  I would “sneak” out of the office in shame at 5:00 so that I could be at home with my two toddlers, and defensively would take every chance possible to let people know that I logged back in at 9pm.  Even today, being a partner in a business where I can set my own schedule, I still struggle with feelings of self-doubt about my value and contribution that come up because I am not working the classic 9-5 job.

Yet I know that this belief of more hours equals more value is not true. I see others who have crafted very successful careers not conforming to the idea of long standard hours.  I also know that our cultural standard of work was set back in the industrial age of factory work, and in today’s age of information, technology and globalization, this standard doesn’t make sense anymore.

So, I ask myself (daily), if this belief may not be true, what can I choose to belief instead and how can I act in alignment with my belief?  For me it is to believe that working smarter, not harder matters, and that outcomes, not the amount of time, spent matters.

What beliefs do you have about flexible work options that may not be true?

Please use the comments below to submit an answer.

If you want to learn more about alternative views on the nature of work, I invite you to attend our February breakfast event: Taking Care of Business: Flexing the Workplace.