4 Ways to Ask For a Flexible Work Schedule

A decade ago a flexible working schedule was viewed as something of a perk.

work-from-home photo

Photo by ShanMcG213

Today, with laptops, mobile phones and tablets, a growing number of us manage to implement plans that allow us to work flexibly in some way.

This may be working from home once a week, staggering the commuting hours or working longer hours four days a week to leave earlier on the fifth, perhaps even freeing up an entire day.

A great deal of these will be informal arrangements, but to put your flexible working arrangement on firmer footing, it’s going to be a question of making an official request of your company.

Those with children aged under 17 (or under 18 if handicapped) or those who had caring duties find the option valuable. It would mean employees requesting a change to their working hours, working time or work place.

However, before everyone dashes to the manager’ workplace, it’s worth stopping briefly for a minute to consider the following.

Plan Ahead

Primarily, you must recognize you only have a right to “request.” Your employer has the capability to say “no” if they have a genuine business reason for doing so.

Secondly, understand exactly what you’re requesting is a potentially irreversible change to your employment terms, which may impact your net earnings and pension contributions, so you must to be positive it’s exactly what you want.

You can typically make only one application a year, so, here are four methods to optimize your possibilities.

  1. Understand exactly what it is you are requesting

Flexible working is specified as:

– Part-time working or staggered hours

– Flex-time.

– Job sharing.

– Working from home or remotely.

– Compressed hours (for example fitting a five-day week into four).

– Term-time or annualized working (to puts it simply, taking paid or unpaid leave during school holidays or just working a specific variety of hours a year).

You need to analyze exactly what you are requesting, and why.

  1. Consider the situation from their perspective.

Companies are allowed a variety of grounds for refusing requests, including:.

– Extra costs or inability to reorganize work.

– Failure to recruit additional staff or a harmful effect on quality.

– Destructive influence on performance or customer requirements.

– Inadequate work for those periods.

– An upcoming prepared structural modification to the business.

If it’s most likely your employer is going to cite one of these you need to be prepared and work out a viable (potentially even costed) alternative before hand.

  1. Make it formal.

It’s highly recommended you put your request in writing to ensure you have appropriate evidence in case of any dispute. It also clarifies expectations for all parties.

Your company should set a meeting within the month to discuss your request and a decision must be made within 2 weeks.

  1. Be specific

It is important to be detailed and specific in your application as to how you expect the flexible schedule to work, so detail what you ‘d like your proposed hours to be, how this will be a change, and if possible, how it will benefit the company.

Display that you recognize how this modification will impact not only your role and those of your colleagues, but also the broader business. Ideally you should be demonstrating how this will predominantly be beneficial, however you must likewise highlight how you intend to reduce any negatives.

If your request is refused, think about whether the decision was fair, whether you could have positioned your case more favorably and, if you’re still determined, how you’ll change your approach next time.

You might have the ability to appeal, but you’ll have to thoroughly consider how that may impact your overall office relationships.

Set a Good Example

If flex-time is your goal, careful planning is the key to successful implementation. Above all, should you achieve your goal, be sure to uphold your side of the bargain. Be an exemplary employee and pave the way for those that may follow your lead.


Photo by debomb1