Working from home is the new trend amongst millennials. Even if you work a standard 9-5 office job, research shows that 70% of people aged 21-35 reported that flexible hours and arrangements of working space made a job more attractive. So it’s even more reason to know how to negotiate with your boss around flexible working!
While the trend has been growing since the turn of the millennium, it’s only in the UK where employees can actually request for flexible hours by law. As long as they’ve worked for 26 weeks, they can put in a “Right To Request”. But bear in mind that while you can ask, there’s no guarantee of the arrangement being approved!
Should you negotiate with your boss around flexible working?
It can be a great situation for both employer and employee if you work from home. Companies are discovering that they can save costs on office space when employees share desks. At the same time, employees are happier with their work-life balance, in addition to greater flexibility with their schedules.
However, not all employers are completely convinced by the idea yet. So here are 5 tips to help you negotiate with your boss around flexible working.
1. Research your company’s policies and be familiar with the culture first!
It’s exciting to think of working at home in your pyjamas, arranging your schedule as you see fit! But before you count your chickens before your eggs hatch, make sure to have thoroughly checked out your company’s flexible working policy. They might not have one, in which case you’ll need to find out what the company’s working culture is with regards to flexible working arrangements. It’s a good sign if other employees already have a form a flexibility and increases the likelihood of your request being approved.
2. Show your manager why it’s good for them
One of the biggest reasons why some managers won’t approve of flexible working hours is because of the fear that productivity will drop. If this applies to you, then you can alleviate those worries by talking through a communication plan. Schedule courtesy calls in the morning to touch base, CC them into emails to keep them in the loop, or even arrange video calls. There are many options to show that you’re not just slacking off at home, but you can make the arrangement work to your boss’s content. By doing so, you’ll show it is a benefit to you and more importantly, to them!
3. Know the times when it’s busiest at your company
Flexible working arrangements might not be possible in every job due to the nature of each industry and your role. Certain deadlines that have to be met or important meetings that can’t be missed might affect the arrangements, or even cancel out the idea altogether. Plus, your company might not have the technology to support your request to work from home.
If there are more than enough ways to ensure you can work flexibly, show your manager that you know the peaks and troughs of business activities. This can assure them you are on top of all your projects and where you work won’t affect your output.
4. Show your ability to be flexible
A negotiation is a two-way street, after all. When you make your request, remember that the ball is entirely in your manager’s court to approve it. And when you negotiate, everything may not go as planned. In case your manager has concerns about certain aspects of the arrangement, you’ll need to be able to compromise. This might mean a change of location or working hours you proposed. A test run might help to show that it works out. But it’s important to build on trust.
As simple as this sounds, you don’t get what you don’t ask for! The idea sounds great, and you’ve done all the planning. But it’s all meaningless if you don’t be brave and step out! If you’re unsure how to negotiate, check out our guide to negotiating for ladies to get what you came for!
Follow our 5 simple tips when you negotiate with your boss around flexible working for a better work-life balance!
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