Asking for flextime is always tricky, especially if your company doesn’t have a policy in place. But with more and more employers becoming flexible on the issue, it could be a good time to broach the subject.
Whether you are raising a family and prefer to work from home, or have an awful commute that you’d like to limit, the reasons for wanting flextime isn’t really relevant to your boss. What he or she wants to know is what’s in it for the company.
To start building your case, follow these strategies courtesy of Tonya Lain, regional vice president for Adecco Staffing US, the world’s largest staffing firm.
Put the company first. As mentioned above, the idea is to center the conversation on productivity, return on investment and your level of effectiveness rather than the reasons for the request, says Lain. “We all face challenges between balancing work and life.If the discussion focuses on how you will be a better employee working remotely, you can make a greater case,” she adds.
Think it through. Develop a specific plan that you can share with your manager on how you plan to work remotely (how you’ll stay in touch, office hours, etc.) so he or she will know work is happening, says Lain. “Most importantly, align your request with business needs. For example, if Monday is a day consistently booked with meetings that need a high level of involvement, it’s probably not the best day to suggest working from home.”
Be flexible. This is about flex time, after all, so you have to be willing to bend as well. “The more flexible you are with your needs, the more flexible an employer can be.If a manager would like to do a trial period, it’s fine to move in that direction, but offer a greater level of insight— established touch bases and check-in periods are a great way to ensure that any issues can be discussed sooner rather than later,” she says.
Remember, you’re still on the job. If you’re working remotely, you should not also be caring for your children throughout the day, says Lain. “If you have little ones at home, childcare arrangements need to be made. If you work extended or early/late hours and kids are around, make sure they’re being taken care of and that you have a dedicated place to work where they know you should not be disturbed while you’re there,” she says.
By illustrating to your employer how you can perform your job even more effectively with a flexible schedule, you might be setting up your remote office in the near future.