How to Ask Your Boss for a Flex Schedule

Today, flexible schedules are becoming more common in the workplace, yet it’s still one of those subjects that can be tricky to bring up with a manager. What is the best way to ask for a more flexible working schedule without overstepping any boundaries? We’ve created a brief list of pointers for you to approach this subject the right way with your employer.

Do Your Research:

If you don’t already know the company policy with scheduling, do some digging and read through any files you may have been given when you started. Ask HR if the company has permitted flexible schedules in the past, so going in, you have a good idea of what has been allowed for previous employees.

Prove Your Work Ethic:

Asking for a flex schedule your first day on the job is not a great idea, unless a flex schedule was brought up in the interview process. Your boss needs to see that you’re able to work hard at your job before offering allowances. Even in the most liberal of workplaces, it’s important to prove yourself first as a hard-working employee.

Come up With a Plan:

Do your homework and show it to your boss. Marlene Phipps, CEO of Celarity, says “build a good business case for a flexible work schedule in writing before asking for it. You should outline in great detail what the plan is, including very specific business outcomes and reasons as to why this will work.”

A detailed plan should list things like:

– How it can make you more efficient in your work, benefitting the company more

– An outline of your work process from outside of the office

– Tools you will use to keep communication lines open between you and everyone at work, like FaceTime, screenshare, IM etc.

–  A calculation of commute hours you save each week weighed against the amount of projects it allows you to finish in that time

–  Regular reports on what you worked on at home so your boss is kept in the loop

– Key dates that are necessary for you to be in the office

After you present your plan, if your manager is still only lukewarm toward the idea, Joram Manka, Director of Marketing at American Time suggests you “work with your boss to set up a trial period of remote work. Create a work plan for 30-45 days, map out expected outcomes, and execute the plan. After the agreed-upon timeline is complete, circle back with your boss and do a debrief on the success of the trial. If you’ve done your work well and hit it out of the park you should set it up for longer runs or perhaps a permanent schedule change.”

Avoid Personal Reasons:

Show your boss you are doing this for the benefit of the company. Avoid personal reasons you may have for wanting a flex schedule, such as:

– I’m just feeling really burnt-out and need a break

– My dog is alone all day so it would be better for me to be at home to take care of it

– This will really cut down fuel costs for me

– I never have time to get things done at home because I’m always at the office

Even though you may have other reasons for wanting a flex schedule, try to stick to the positives it will bring for the company and how it will make you more productive as an employee.

If you show your employer you are responsible enough to handle flexible hours, there is a good chance they will consider your suggestion. Manka says, “Flexible and remote work options should be a win-win-win. A win for the company, the employee, and most importantly the customer.”


For more content from Marlene and Joram follow them on Twitter!

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