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Flextime: Honing The Balance

Woody Allen famously said that 80% of success is showing up. That's no joke in the corporate world.Show up early. Stay late. Look busy. Acting the part of the devoted employee has earned many a middling performer solid reviews.

Flextime agreements, combined with a greater focus on performance metrics, were supposed to help change all that. As of last year, says human resources consulting firm Hewitt Associates Inc., 75% of companies offered some kind of flexible work arrangement. But so far, these policies have had mixed results. Working remotely can leave employees feeling isolated and managers feeling they lack control. And flextimers often find themselves squeezed into policies that are anything but flexible. "The work-life movement has always had a heavy layer of one-size-fits-all-ism," says Stewart D. Friedman, who runs the Work/Life Integration Project at the Wharton School.