NEW research says seven in ten UK employees want flexible working but more than half fear it would be viewed negatively by their employer. Here, we share how you can ask your boss for flex…
Before you make an official request consider suggesting a trial of three to six months. Bosses are more likely to say yes as it’s not such a big leap. Suggest exactly how and when you plan to work to ease fears. Whereas official requests are more set in stone these trial arrangements can always be tweaked if they are not working. And the proof will be in the output when you make it work.
Show the benefits
Try to understand what your bosses’ concerns might be and think how to overcome them. Your request is much more likely to be successful if you show how you working flexibly could be beneficial for the business. Demonstrate how you would be more productive if you worked different hours, not to mention lower costs and time saved commuting.
A number one worry for bosses is ‘how will I know you are working?’ Tackle this head-on by suggesting using digital tools like Slack and Trello to stay in touch. Put forward a plan on how you can report back and suggest clear deliverables on a weekly basis. Consider sharing to-do lists so you can both see what you are doing,
It’s no good to just generally ask for ‘flexible working’. Instead, really think through what arrangement would work best for you and your employer. There is, quite simply, no ‘one size fits all’ for flex. Consider everything from compressed hours, part-time, different start times and working remotely. And be prepared to compromise on what might work.
As well as legally having every right to request flexible working, being positive and unapologetic about what you want can go a long way. Present a clear case of all the positive benefits of flex for your boss and you, and don’t couch anything in negative language. Consider showing case studies of companies that are making it work. Remember flexible is not a dirty word!
■ Nikki Cochrane is the co-founder of Digital Mums