What to do if you want to negotiate a more flexible work schedule

As corporations throughout the U.S. put together to reopen their workplace doorways, many could discover their workers resistant to dropping the pliability they gained whereas working from residence. That is very true of working mother and father, a lot of whom had been compelled to tackle further roles similar to instructor and daycare supplier whereas the nation was in lockdown. In reality, when TopResume surveyed over 1,500 U.S. working mothers, it discovered that 58% had diminished their hours or taken a go away of absence to accommodate their households’ wants in the course of the pandemic.

If the considered returning to the workplace and “going again” to how issues had been has your abdomen in knots, don’t panic. Whereas you’re sometimes in the most effective place to negotiate flexibility when becoming a member of a new firm, the occasions over the previous yr have created a distinctive alternative for staff to make their case for a new post-COVID work association with their present employers. 

Earlier than you dust off your résumé in quest of a new alternative, think about negotiating a new association along with your present employer that higher fits your wants. 

Contemplate your choices

A flexible work association can take many alternative types. It’s essential to rigorously think about what’s going to work finest for each you and your employer earlier than proposing any everlasting adjustments to your place. For instance, if you’re ready to carry out some elements of your job more effectively from the workplace, you may determine to suggest working remotely on a part-time foundation. If you’ve found that you’re more productive—and higher ready to juggle your profession and family obligations—when you regulate the beginning and finish instances to your workday, you could want to request flexible work hours. Alternatively, if you’d desire to work on a part-time or reduced-time foundation, then you could want to broach the topic of job sharing—an association the place two part-time workers share the obligations of 1 full-time place—along with your supervisor. 

Do your homework

Evaluate your worker handbook or attain out to your HR division to decide the corporate’s stance on working remotely prior to the pandemic. Has HR or senior management communicated any adjustments to that coverage—or introduced a new coverage—in gentle of the previous yr’s occasions? As well as, discover out if your employer has plans to undertake a hybrid work mannequin (half in-office, half distant). 

In case your employer has hinted that they’d desire everybody again within the workplace, don’t let this truth deter you. As an alternative, conduct on-line analysis to discover different organizations—ideally rivals of your organization or ones that share comparable traits—which have introduced plans to move to a hybrid model or stay totally distant.

Put together for objections

If you plan to negotiate a everlasting work-from-home schedule along with your boss, make any changes to your private home workplace that might eradicate a few of their objections earlier than broaching the topic. For instance, if your Wi-Fi has been a difficulty, now’s the time to look into upgrading your router to enhance your connectivity. If you have but to repair the lighting to your video calls or discover the suitable noise-canceling headphones, now’s the time to determine it out. These enhancements will show to your employer that you’re devoted to being productive and competent, no matter your workspace’s location.

 You additionally want to show your productiveness to your supervisor within the weeks main up to your negotiations by remaining responsive with communication, being current and engaged throughout video and telephone conferences, and preserving your supervisor knowledgeable of your work and—most significantly—your successes. Replace your brag book and have it prepared to reference in the course of the dialog along with your boss.

Method your supervisor strategically

When deciding when and the way to tackle the topic along with your boss, keep in mind their persona and communication model. For instance, if your supervisor is easy, schedule a assembly with a clear goal: “I’d like to focus on everlasting adjustments to my work association shifting ahead.” In case your supervisor prefers a much less direct method, you could want to deliver up the topic throughout your subsequent one-on-one assembly.

Whichever method you determine to begin the dialog, ensure it takes place in-person or over video as an alternative of a telephone name. This may permit you to observe your supervisor’s physique language and assist you gauge whether or not your proposal is being well-received.

Acknowledge the underside line

As soon as the company workplace reopens, don’t assume you have to return to the identical working association you beforehand held along with your employer. There’s no hurt in advocating for what you want so as to be a happier and more productive worker and caregiver. Bear in mind, you’ll by no means get what you want if you don’t ask for it. In case your employer is unwilling to accommodate your request and assist your wants as a working guardian, then it might be the push you want to think about different choices because the job market heats up. 


Amanda Augustine (@JobSearchAmanda) is the resident profession professional for Expertise Inc.’s suite of manufacturers: TopResume, TopInterview, and TopCV. She is a licensed skilled profession coach (CPCC) and résumé author (CPRW).