Who wouldn’t want a flexible working hours model that allows them to achieve a good work-life balance? While most employees would consider this a dream come true, management consultants appear to consider it unattractive. Why is that?

“To begin with, we should be aware that this is a management issue,” explains Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision. “We interviewed 50 consultants working for five prestigious companies in the industry and were frequently told that they don’t want to be forced into working hours models but instead to decide for themselves how their work-life balance should be. This attitude was often an expression of consultants’ fear that they could be accused of not showing enough commitment to their jobs.”
No matter whether consultants were male or female, they all accepted overtime as a given in their field. In addition to this, many interviewees were proud of the fact that they were able to solve conflicts between their work and private lives without their employers’ assistance.

What steps can a company take to prevent the glorification of working under pressure? “The key to change is redefining the definition of success and the parameters used to measure it,” answers Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.). “Focusing on quality of work; client satisfaction; and a good team atmosphere is more productive than recording the actual number of hours that are worked.”

Avoiding and changing specific internal communication patterns can also help the move away from perceiving overtime as an indicator of “high performance”.

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