Home > Articles > Business & Management > Personal Development

Knowing Your Flexstyle: The Good and Bad Ways We Manage Relationships Between Work and Personal Life

📄 Contents

  1. Flexstyles: The Good and Bad Ways We Manage Relationships Between Work and Personal Life
  2. Types of Flexstyles
  3. Whats Your Flexstyle? Where Do You Fit In?
  4. Self-Assessment: Identifying Your Flexstyle
  5. Closing
Whether you know it or not, you already have a strategy for handling your life. But is it a conscious strategy? Do you feel in control of your life? Begin to take control to be the CEO of your life by learning to manage your flexstyle.
This chapter is from the book
  • I don’t really have big walls around either of them (work and family). If something big is going on, one tends to bleed over into the other. That’s just the way my life is.
  • Haley,” Infocom employee

Flexstyles: The Good and Bad Ways We Manage Relationships Between Work and Personal Life

Whether you know it or not, you already have a strategy for handling your life. But is it a conscious strategy? Do you feel in control of your life? Do you have a meaningful understanding of what is driving your work and life relationships and how this feeds into day-to-day well-being for yourself and those with whom you regularly live and interact?

Or maybe you are like Haley. You know that you experience ongoing tension between your job and personal life, but you’re not sure what the root causes of these tensions are. You just know they exist and are always there. You didn’t know that there is any other way of living.

Although you probably have access to some work-family or flexibility policies offered by your employer, they don’t seem to be helping you make your work and family demands mesh better. They aren’t meeting your needs. Sure, you may have a great job—on paper at least. Maybe even a graduate degree and a house with a picket fence (or a cool rent-free apartment with an imaginary one). You have a partner you love living with, a pet, and maybe even a child or two. Or if you are single, you may yearn for this kind of family some day. But why aren’t you happy? Why are you always feeling stressed and overloaded? Why isn’t your life the way you dreamed it would be? Why can’t you stop thinking about work when you are supposed to be relaxing? And why are you always bombarded with nonwork stuff to handle when you actually want to be focusing on your job? Why do you feel like you lack control over your life?

The answer, for many of us, is perhaps you haven’t understood that you have developed a flexstyle. If you are like most people, your current approach just evolved over time through a series of ad hoc (and sometimes not optimal) choices. Would you like to know whether there is a better way?

In this chapter, we reveal two main ideas to help you begin to take control to be the CEO of your life. The first idea is that we all have a flexstyle—the psychological and physical ways we manage relationships between our job and personal life. We will share with you what a flexstyle is, why it is important, and some examples of how people get into flexstyle routines, through making a number of unconscious or conscious decisions. It is only when people understand their patterns of flexstyle behaviors and how their flexstyle works within the structures of their current work and family environment that they will be able to make changes to be more in control and create healthier work-life relationships.

The second thing to learn is that there are three main types of flexstyles, and under each type is a good and bad way of feeling about how we use flexibility. Under each flexstyle, there is one subgroup where people feel in control and happy with their lives. Under the other subgroup, people are unhappy and feel out of control. So, on the surface, under each flexstyle type, people can look like they are managing work and life relationships the same way. But why is it that one individual is totally miserable and the other is at peace? Why is it that what works well for one person can be horrible for the other?

The answer to this question is that what matters most is

  • Whether you feel in control of these relationships
  • The degree that you perceive alignment between your flexstyle and values for how you would prefer to allocate the life buckets described in Chapter One, “Are You the CEO of Your Working Life?”

When you perceive a fit between your values and your flexstyle, your work and personal life can even enrich or complement each other. At a minimum, they are a neutral influence on the other. But when you don’t perceive a fit, your work and personal life usually compete and are at odds. They deplete resources from each other because you are expending extra energy constantly managing conflicting pressures. So when your flexstyle isn’t working for you, it isn’t fitting with your preferences and identity for how you want to allocate your time and energy across your many life interests. Then your stress increases and your personal effectiveness plummets, whether at the office, at home, or within your community. You often feel tired by managing competing tensions and needing to expend extraordinary resources just to hold things together. If you feel you are beginning to lack control over parts of your life that matter to you, identifying your style will be an important first step before attempting some of the change tactics suggested in the last half of this book. It is also important to note that you can change your flexstyle as you go through your life, as your priorities, job, and personal life circumstances change. You can also change your definition of what is a “workable life”—a life that is working for you. So you may align or realign how you enact your flexstyle as your life buckets shift and evolve as you go through personal changes over your life span—as you leave school, get a job, develop your career, find a new partner, have kids, or move to a new city. Your flexstyle also could change at different times of the year, particularly if you have major shifts in job or family demands that are seasonal. An example might be a ski instructor who works a different job in the off season or a noncustodial parent who has a child live with them during the summer. But for any typical week of our life, most of us have a dominant flexstyle that best describes our approach for managing personal and work relationships.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020