As a recruiter, one of the biggest changes I’ve seen in the business world over the past few years is the rise of flexible working.
Have you been working ‘flexi-hours’ in your current role? If so, you’ll experience the same benefits as others in your position. You’re likely more motivated, you have a higher level of engagement and commitment with your company. It’s also likely that you’ve taken less time off from work owing to sickness.
If though, you’re in the 47% of people who haven’t, you might be wondering how to change your work-life balance and have the opportunity to either alter your working hours or to work from home.”
So, how to broach this with your boss?
You can make a statutory request made under law, this will ensure that your request is looked in to and there is a process that you and your employer will need to follow when negotiating. It’s likely though, that you won’t take this route and a request will be made via a conversation at a performance review perhaps.
The question is, how can you put yourself in the best possible position when requesting flexible working?
Explain why you need it!
You may have childcare arrangements in the morning and would prefer to start later or you may prefer to stay at home one day a week away from office distractions. Whatever your reason, you need to be clear and from that point you’ll be able to work out exactly what you need and how that will fit in with your work schedule. Think about objections your employer might have to the changes you have requested, and ways in which they can be addressed.
Make sure your request is appropriate!
If there are core hours when you’re needed in the office, it’s unlikely that any request will be successful. It’s likely though that an agreement can be made that suits both parties for most situations. Talk about the new arrangement and what it will involve. Describe your daily duties and explain how you plan to keep in touch if you’ll be working remotely. Showing your boss that you have a plan will prove that your change in hours won’t affect your quality of work.
Don’t be negative!
Rather than discussing how it is difficult to work in your current situation, talk about how this change in working hours will benefit the team. Explain how your time could be better used in a different setup, focus on putting across how this change would give you the opportunity to maximise your potential and overall productivity.
Focus on the positives and make it clear that although you can cope with your current arrangement, it could be done even better with a personalised working week.
Demonstrate your ambition!
A request for flexible working might be perceived as a lack of ambition by certain leaders. It could be the opposite for you, so tell your boss that! Explain what your ambitions and goals are and how this would help you to achieve them. If your boss has no concerns over your dedication and loyalty, they’re less likely to be concerned about you working from home once or twice a week.
Once you’ve gone through each of these and have a clear idea in your head of how you’re going to approach your request, do this:
Set up a time to talk it through with your boss – Put together a schedule of how it would work and present it to them.
Discuss a trial period of flex-time: To give you and your boss comfort that it can work.
Maintain communication: Working flexibly probably means that you should be in closer communication than you would usually to make sure your boss can trust the change until it becomes the accepted “new norm”.
Good luck – feel free to drop me a line if you’d like further advice – firstname.lastname@example.org
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