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How to convince your boss to grant you a flexible schedule

Nidhi Thakur
8th Dec 2016
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An inflexible nine-to-five schedule is soon becoming the most disliked cliché of our times, and the earlier employers understand this, the better it will be for everyone. Having a flexible work schedule allows you to work for a time period convenient to you, allowing you to spend the rest of your time doing something you love. Thus, it helps maintain a good work-life balance, which in turn inspires a very healthy, happy and productive work culture. I tried it myself for my company, wherein my employee could continue giving her dance lessons to kids, as long as the work to be done was not hampered – and I have never regretted this decision.

Image : shutterstock

Image : shutterstock

However, if you’re working for someone who isn’t still open to the said concept, here’s a three-step guide to win over the flexible work schedule proposition for yourself!

The build-up

The key before getting into any crucial argument – make sure you do your research well! Having flexible hours is a great move for every company, but most employers have already heard that. So what has stopped them from allowing the change? Do your research and try finding out. Does your boss like having the satisfaction of seeing a full office? Are there more employees like you who would vouch for flexible work schedule? Does your company have clients that would prefer having service before or after the regular working hours? This research will work as the right ammunition in your proposition. Here, it will also be good to think through what your role would be once the change is made. You could share these thoughts with your employer later to show them how you’ve really thought this through and know what you’re getting into.

The conversation

Make it about them, not you! It’s just the best way to win over anyone. You want flexible hours and you want your employer to concede – but what do they get out of it? Use the research you did in step one and present it in a way that shows your employer why this will be beneficial for the company. Honesty is key, so don’t forget to also specify why you’re asking for this exception. Showing them how much of a stress-reliever this move can be for you, which in turn will allow you to be more focused and productive. Here, you’d also want to remember to make sure you don’t come off as a non-ambitious employee. Your communication has to be clear, confident, and strong – requesting for flexible hours but at the same time emphasising that the job is important to you. Saying that you need a break or that your current schedule is tiring you out can have a negative impact on your credibility, so choose your words wisely. Whether it’s higher productivity, or cost-effectiveness, or having an employee on-call even after regular hours, show them how this is a win-win deal and leave the rest to their judgment.

The follow-up

This is the most crucial part. After your earlier conversation, your employer can disagree, agree, or concede to try this out for a short term and see how it goes. If the decision is any of the latter two, now the ball is in your court and you have to show them why they haven’t made the wrong decision in trusting you. Don’t take a backseat just because you’re now working from home and it’s all too convenient. Any change is always followed by intense monitoring, so don’t be surprised or annoyed if your boss checks in on you much more than before – he’s just trying to get used to the arrangement. On your part, make sure you continue striving to do your best for the company. Never forget that your new-found flexibility comes as a huge responsibility as you now have to set an example and pave the way for a bigger, welcome change in the organisation.

Working flexible hours is not everyone’s cup of tea. There’s a different charm to having a set work timeline, so you know when you’re going to be free and when you can schedule the rest of your duties. With flexible hours comes a lot of commitment to being available at all times, and this could be very taxing if you’re not in the right frame of mind.

Having said that, a flexible schedule has more perks to its credit, and can be a very big morale booster for employees. Getting the chance to choose your work hours does offer a huge psychological advantage, giving you the chance to make time for things you’re passionate about, motivating you further to be a better employee, and thus, leading to higher job satisfaction and happiness! It definitely tops our list of good work culture essentials.

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