5 Reasons Bosses Fear Flexibility (and What You Can Do About It)

If You Want Flexibility at Work, You Have to be Proactive

Convince Your Boss Not to Fear the Flex

This article is adapted from Chapter 5, “Negotiating for Work Flexibility,” of the new book, The Working Dad’s Survival Guide: How to Succeed at Work and at Home.

Lots of working parents benefit from working alternative work schedules, such as telecommuting a day or two a week or shifting hours around family responsibilities. However, for the most part, companies will not come to us to ask us about our needs for flexibility. We have to take the first step. This can be difficult, but most good things in life are.

To increase our chances of success, it is important that we understand the concerns our supervisors may have before we start our negotiation. This way, we can focus our communications so that we dispel most of their concerns and show them how they will also benefit. If you take away their reasons to say no, they are more likely to say yes. With that, here are five common reasons why supervisors may be resistant to supporting flexible work, followed by ways to address each.