Instead of greater freedom over our work and family lives, "flexibility" now often means that workers need to come in whenever the employer wants them and are sent home when demand is slack. Employers have adopted the language of "flexibility" but rebranded its meaning.
Our full-time jobs require our presence at frequent early morning and late evening events, plus occasional weekends. All of our extended family lives a plane ride away, and paying for a nanny --- not in our budget! We get by by making significant sacrifices to our careers and our pocketbook.
When we launched the movement 1 Million for Work Flexibility last October, our timing wasn't coincidental: National Work and Family Month is the perfect moment to shine a spotlight on work flexibility.
One fear that some managers have in granting the request is that if they give it to one employee, they will have to give it to everyone. Because of that fear, what may occur is the original flexibility request goes under the radar and is a negotiated "deal" between that employee and their manager.
I've been working from home for years, and I've built my company as a completely virtual one. So when I hear the pervasive myths (lies, really) that continue to exist about working from home, it gets me a little grumpy.
Wait a minute. As modern mothers, our choice is to go corporate and "Lean In" or stay at home?
Oh I don't think so. I call shenanigans. Yeah, that's right. I said shenanigans. You can go look it up. I'll wait.
Most of us are not asking for sabbaticals, part-time positions, or an end to in-office meetings. We are asking for small things, like starting work at 8:30 instead of 8 so that we can drop our kids off at school beforehand.
There are many viewpoints and considerations to take into account when discussing workplace issues. Regulations are needed to move us forward in regards to pay equity, but many aspects of the workplace are more nuanced and require an attitude and paradigm shift.
While I know Sibert is not arguing for a law that would mandate full-time work for physicians, even just returning to the expectation that all doctors must work full-time could have severe consequences.
The way we work is fundamentally changing -- and that the ramifications will be better for everyone. The notions of going to work, putting in set hours, and getting "face time" are increasingly antiquated ideas.