Flexible schedules are all the rage now. Or so you’d think if you were looking for a job – it's listed as a benefit in many job ads. Almost anything written about Millennials or Gen Y (or whatever you want to call us) mentions our work ethic. We want to work from home once in awhile, we want more work, more to do, we want to work while on Twitter and listening to music.
To that last point, it’s similar to how I did homework in high school: AIM, blasting stereo, and homework – and I’ve made it this far! It shouldn’t be such a surprise we then that we function differently at work. Here is the thing: there is more to life than work.
Some things just can’t be done on the weekends. As a single woman it is often discouraged to make a request for an alternate schedule. Why is this? Why is it so taboo for single women, or women without children, to ask for a day off every other week, or time to work from home?
I get more done when I work from home. I also don’t spend 2 hours getting to and from work; instead I spend that time working! I always take a real lunch break when I work from home – a rare thing when in the office. I stop when I’d normally head home – usually beating the crowd to the gym.
What I’ve noticed, however, is the option seems to be there for working moms, and those with the most seniority. Younger workers crave this opportunity, though. The thought of having every other Friday to work in yoga pants on my couch is painfully nice. Every other Friday off is even better! And it makes me dream of stress-free weekends – I wouldn’t be pressed to get as much done and still be able to see my friends and family.
I know it’s an option in many offices, but that always depends on your organization or company, your boss, your schedule, what kind of work you do – there are too many factors! How are we supposed to know, coming into a new job, if that really is okay to do, and how are we supposed to know the rules and process to get flexible scheduling if so few people actually are able to take advantage of it? I’ve been told it may raise eyebrows, and that it is inappropriate, being under 30, having no children, no spouse, etc. to take care of, to ask for or expect some kind of alternate schedule. We do have legitimate reasons for wanting more time away from the office, and if we’re putting in the time – why not?
Just because we are young does not mean we aren’t putting in the time, doing the work, going above and beyond the call – or job description. I hear friends and strangers wishing they could do this. My guess is most workplaces offer it – and it is either discouraged for younger, newer employees, or we don’t know or aren’t told the rules, expectations or process to achieve it.
Bottom line: if you want young women, or Millennials in general, to show loyalty to a position or organization – show us the same loyalty. We may just be more efficient employees with some spare time.