Career

5 useful tips to ask your boss for flexibility

How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you were needed at home but you couldn’t be there because you had to be at the office? Ring any bells? Then you need to know more about work flexibility.

Let’s talk about flexibility at work!

 

How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you were needed at home but you couldn’t be there because you had to be at the office? Ring any bells?

Then you need to know more about work flexibility.

During 2014, the government introduced legislation giving every employee the right to request flexible working after 26 weeks employment service. Over the last decade, the workplace has gone digital and many jobs now allow flexibility.

However, asking your boss for flexibility might seem scary. The fear of risking a promotion or possible resentment from the people you work with might discourage you, however there should be no need to worry.  Flexible working can suit many businesses and people and you won’t know if you don’t try!

If you think that workplace flexibility could help you with work-life balance and improve your performance at work, follow our 5 tips to ask your boss for flexibility:

 

#1 Be clear

Make your request in writing, state the date the request is made, the change to working conditions you’re seeking and the date you would like the change to take effect.

#2 Be flexible about flexibility

There are many ways to build flexibility into a job. Decide what would work better for you before talking with your boss. Be flexible about flexibility - you may want to work from home one day but would you agree to start and end your day early instead? Think about alternatives, so if your first request is met with resistance, you’re ready to negotiate.

#3 Show your boss you are serious about making it work

Is your plan for flexibility doable? Your boss may be hesitant. If it happens, suggest a trial period. Two weeks or a month are enough to show that you’re serious about your request and that you know how to make it work, not just for you, but for the good of the company too.

#4 Focus on benefits for the company

Is the company paying for your travel expenses? Can your job be done from home? If the answers to both are yes then the company would benefit as much as you from your flexibility request. Look for any other possible benefits your company might gain from what you’re asking and focus on them when you talk to your boss.

#5 If you don’t succeed try again

No sometimes means not now. If your request for flexibility is refused, don’t give up. Maybe the conversation will take place on an off day or your boss is not fully convinced of your plan yet. There’s no guarantee that your request will be accepted the first time, but if you really want to work flexibly, take a couple of months and take it up again with a new proposal. Address what went wrong last time and work on it. With the right kind of persistence and preparation – and a little bit of luck – you’ll find a solution that makes you and your boss happy.

Good luck!

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