How to Get a Flexible Work Schedule
What tips do you have for getting the shift you want?
Francesca Di Meglio | Monster Contributing Writer
Assess Yourself and Your Job
Flexible work arrangements come in different forms. They include a flexible start and end time, compressed or extended workweeks, and being able to leave the office during the day to tend to other commitments. Some HR consultants also label telecommuting (especially if it’s not everyday), job sharing and reduced work schedules as flexible arrangements.
Given these variations, figure out what kind of schedule and arrangement work best with your work habits and job responsibilities. Would a particular schedule or arrangement improve or impair your ability to perform your job?
As you consider your options, be honest about your level of discipline and your past performance, suggests Diane Krieman, senior talent consultant at Hewitt Associates, an HR outsourcing and consulting firm. If you’re not performing with a regular schedule, your boss is unlikely to hand you the privilege of a flexible one.
Put Yourself in Your Boss’s Shoes
Position your proposed arrangement as one that benefits the employer through increased productivity or other cost savings. If, for example, a compressed workweek will provide added coverage at a time when the company needs it, sell your proposed schedule in that way.
“You need to position your request in a way that puts the interests of the business first,” says Elizabeth Wilcox, a former content producer for Monster who focuses on the women’s channel and the author of The Mom Economy: The Mothers’ Guide to Getting Family-Friendly Work.
Prepare a Proposal
Write a formal business plan and schedule a meeting with your boss to explain the benefits to him and your employer. Be ready to explain how you will accomplish your job tasks. Outline why your flexible schedule won’t make life more difficult for your boss or colleagues, says Jane Weizmann, senior consultant at Watson Wyatt, a consulting firm focused on human capital and financial management, in Arlington, Virginia.