Employers nowadays tend to improve their workers’ work-life balance and overall working conditions. That is why requests for flexible work schedule are becoming more popular. The number of companies with flexible work arrangements is growing, according to The Personnel Today. But what should you do if there is no flexibility in the workplace at your company? Don’t be afraid. We will tell you how to ask for flexible working hours without any risk to lose your job.
Law is by your side
All employees have the right to request flexible working hours since 2014. “New laws governing flex work are coming into place”, states Forbes. Since 2002 this right was given to working mothers or people who take care of their disabled relatives, however, the situation changed. Everyone can place a flexible working request without the risk of consequences. But it doesn’t mean that they receive a positive answer to their request. Statistics say, that men are less likely to be allowed having a flexible schedule than women and you should provide a serious reason for flexible work arrangements.
Check your company’s policy
The first thing you should do is to check your company’s flexible work arrangements policy. Before addressing to your manager, study the case and check what your employer can suggest. If the company doesn’t have such recommendations, you can make a request to the company management suggesting to review and install flexible working policies appealing to the work legislation.
Make sure, that your current position doesn’t require a full-time schedule and you will be able to perform your responsibilities when working flexibly. Also, keep in mind that you need to provide your reasons for such a request. If your company doesn’t provide the employees with flexible working practices on a daily basis, your request must be balanced and reasonable.
Provide you request in written form
Make a letter to employer for flexible working hours. Your request must be dated and registered. You should also include the dates of previous requests if they were made. A formal request for a flexible work schedule can be made by any employee (regardless if they have children or not) once they were employed more than 26 days.
Include the details
After making such a request to your company, you’re likely to be invited for an interview. Nevertheless, provide as many details to your letter, as possible. We suggest you the following questions to be included:
- What conditions are you asking for? Whether you want to work from home or flexible schedule, provide your employer with this information.
- When do you need it? For what period of time those changes should be made to your schedule? What days and hours do you need a flexibility?
- Why do you need it? State your reasons and conditions clearly.
- How will you perform your duties? What facilities do you need to perform your duties from home? Whether you will be able to stay in touch in case of urgency.
Discuss your next role
Arrange the meeting with your manager and discuss your responsibilities. If your duties need to be reorganized, talk about that in advance. Make them sure that you will be able to focus working from home or you will have enough time to provide your work done reducing the number of your hours. Take new responsibilities that you will be able to perform if your working hours change. Make the first step and suggest initiatives that will benefit your company.
Take the employer into account
The company can decline your request if the company will lose from your new schedule. Step into your employer’s shoes and ask yourself:
- If the work will be done properly and on time
- Do they need to find extra workers to cover your duties
- If the company will benefit from your new schedule
- If your new schedule will be appropriate for the clients.
In case your request is declined, ask your managers for reasons of such an answer.
Watch the time
The employer has three months to review your request and provide you with the answer. For this reason, make your request in advance. Be confident to ask your management for your application status and remind them to answer you on time as legislation states.
Keep in mind that you’re allowed to place a request for a flexible schedule once per year. Therefore, make all the preparations in a proper manner, otherwise, you will have to wait 365 days to repeat your application.
Ask for Advice
Be open to communicate with your management. In case you understand that you don’t have enough reasons to receive a positive answer, discuss your situation with your manager. Companies that value their employees will try to resolve the case and try to find a compromise. But if you don’t feel like an appreciated worker, maybe it’s time to consider to change the workplace?