If you pine for a work schedule that enables you to bypass that commute to work in traffic, that saves you money by transforming lounge pants into a work wardrobe, or that compresses your work week into four days, then it's time to sharpen your negotiation skills and approach your boss.
Be sure to check with your HR representative if flexible scheduling benefits are already in place. If not, ask around to determine if any other employees have flexible arrangements. Find out what they did to negotiate the schedule and use their tips for making your schedule work.
Plan to negotiate your flexible work schedule with your employer -- not you -- in mind. It's not about you this time and what works best for your family, but rather how this arrangement can benefit them. Most companies that offer family friendly benefits do so because it makes sense, not because they are being kind and charitable.
The advantages of a flexible work schedule for both employees and employers alike are well documented. Those employers who implement these schedule benefits understand that it is an incentive to recruit and retain the best talent, of which many are working mothers. Additionally, employers realize that it helps improve productivity because, according to studies, people are happier at their workplace when they receive accommodations, emphasizing their importance on the job and boosting morale.
Take a hard look at your life and situation before you begin the negotiation process to work from home. There are definitely those people who cannot work from home because they are too distracted by, well life! Laundry, bills, and the phone doesn't stop, so you have to be ready to disconnect during the time you are dedicating to your job.
Here are few drawbacks of working from home:
All of these items, plus any other personal distractions should be considered if you are contemplating whether or not to work from home.
You should present your proposal for a modified schedule in writing. The key points to address in your proposal are:
If your workplace does not have a formal scheduling policy, you'll need to approach the discussion with flexibility in mind. Be open to suggestions from your boss on how they envision the schedule working. This will help ensure you consider all possible scheduling options, even if it's a small change to start. If your boss seems only lukewarm about your proposal, suggest a trial period of three months. This trial period is good for both of you.
It will take some work but, in most cases, a flexible work arrangement will be given the consideration it deserves.
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