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Cubester® Chat – Should New Hires Take Advantage of a Flexible Work Environment?

Posted on 04-30-2014
Cubester® Chat – Should New Hires Take Advantage of a Flexible Work Environment?

Almost everyone is working hard to pay their bills, take care of their families and have some level of a social life, juggling work and friends or family obligations is a challenge. As a result, employers are offering employees more flexibility in how they can take care of their personal lives while keeping their jobs and getting the work done.

Many employers no longer believe in a one-size-fits-all 40-hour workweek and are offering more flexible workplace options. Due to technology, for example, working remotely is an increasingly popular option. Employers are also offering flexible work schedules, in which employees can have variable start and end times, reduced work hours, or the ability to change their work schedule or location.

With these different benefits being offered by more employers, it is important as a new employee to ask:

  • How much should you take advantage of them when you begin working for a company?
  • Are the policies really as flexible as they seem, or do you have to earn that flexibility through experience and time working for the company?

From what I’ve seen and heard from friends and coworkers, as well as advice received from our own Human Resources’ experts, even when a flexible work environment is available, new hires may not want to take complete and full advantage of it. As a new employee, making a good impression is one of the most important things you should do. That starts with having as much face time in the office as possible, meeting and getting to know as many of your superiors and colleagues as you can.

How can you get to know people if you are not in the office? People have to get to know who you are , or at the bare minimum, your name, before they can truly create an accurate impression of you. When superiors can see you working, they feel more confident that your work is getting done, and seeing you in the office can influence their perception of you as a hard worker. Therefore, it’s not a good idea to work from home or work odd hours when it is not essential or part of a work agreement.

When starting a new job, you need to learn the job well and earn the trust of your superiors before deciding to work from a location other than the office. Until you truly know your job, you will have questions and need to be in the office to ask them. Getting your employer to trust that you are capable of working without direct oversight or supervision takes time and only comes after proving yourself.

Erin O’Malley is a guest contributor.