Are you suffering from flexibility stigma?


By: MJ Gonzales | Executive Chronicles


Whether working remotely or regularly in the office, productivity and commitment are two strong points that employers want from their employees. It’s a challenge for workers to prove these at all cost.  Good thing, technology bridge employers and employees almost anytime or anywhere. Because of this challenge levels up also that’s why most employees want to become flexible? This is of course make employers smile, but is it a good practice or a simply “flexibility stigma?”

In the interview of The Atlantic with Center for WorkLife Law (at the University of California Hastings College of the Law) director Joan C. Williams, she shared that flexibility stigma rooted from “the norm of work devotion.” It’s like displaying you’re focus is your work.  Apparently, the target of this phenomenon are those who are willing to work overtime and afford to stay away from their families like the breadwinners. However, Atlantic’s report also suggested that this stigma is also can be for everybody including those who work from home.

“It’s an identity-threat situation; they have an incredible amount invested in proving that’s the only way to be a professional,” Williams shared on why professionals swallow this kind of system that can affect their work-life balance.


Since it takes radical move to change this as per Williams, it’s good for employees to start to assess their real priorities. Flexibility stigma is apparently non-issue for career-oriented individuals who find their jobs truly satisfying. However, this is a big issue if you’re really aiming for work-life balance, have quality moments with your family or looking forward to do something else.

If flexibility stigma is just a way to finally break excuses for being productive and committed then it somehow can help. However, if this ideal (which it really is) pushes you to overwork or be a slave of your boss/ job then it’s time to rethink about it. On the positive side, not all companies and bosses are in favor of flexibility stigma.