How to Ask Your Boss About Switching to a Flex Work Schedule
Flexible work or remote work arrangements have become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing employees to work from home, adjust their schedules, or work part-time.
More companies are recognizing the benefits of flex work for their employees, including increased job satisfaction, better work-life balance, and improved productivity. But how do you broach the topic with your boss?
In this post, we'll share some tips on how to ask your boss about switching to a flex work schedule.
Considerations Before Asking for Flex Work
Before approaching your boss about flex work, it's important to consider the potential impact on your work, team, and company. Think about the reasons why you want to work flexibly and how it will benefit you, as well as the potential drawbacks.
Some examples of flex work schedules to consider include:
- Working from home one or two days per week
- Starting and finishing work earlier or later to avoid a longer commute
- Having a compressed work week, where you work longer hours on fewer days
When considering these options, think about your job responsibilities, your team's needs, and your company's policies. Consider how the proposed schedule will impact your work and your team, and be prepared to address any concerns your boss may have.
For a better idea of options, check out "A Flexibility Primer" chart in the Harvard Business Review's "Rethinking 'Back to Work'".
How to Ask Your Boss for Flex Work
When presenting the idea of flex work to your boss, it's essential to be prepared and professional. Here's an example of how an employee might phrase the ask:
"Hi [Boss's Name], I've been thinking about my work schedule and I was wondering if we could discuss the possibility of me working a more flexible schedule. Specifically, I'm interested in [describe the proposed schedule]. I've done some research on our company's policies and I believe this schedule would benefit both me and the team. Would you be open to discussing this further?"
Start by researching your company's processes and gathering data that supports your request.
Make a list of the benefits of flex work, such as increased productivity and improved work-life balance, and be prepared to explain how you plan to stay productive while working flexibly. That's going to be one of their main concerns.
When you approach your boss, be clear and concise about your request and be willing to negotiate if necessary.
Addressing Productivity Concerns
One of the biggest concerns bosses have about flex work is that it may lead to a decrease in productivity. To address these concerns, it's important to have a plan in place for staying productive while working flexibly.
Set clear goals and deadlines, communicate regularly with your team, and be willing to adjust your schedule if necessary.
By demonstrating your commitment to staying productive, you can help alleviate any concerns your boss may have.
Suggesting a Trial Run for Flex Work
If your boss is hesitant to agree to a permanent flex or remote work schedule, consider proposing a trial period. This will give you both an opportunity to see how the arrangement works in practice and make any necessary adjustments.
Be prepared to provide regular updates on your progress and productivity during the trial period.
Be Prepared and Understanding of Their Perspective
Asking your boss for a flexible work schedule can be a daunting task. By taking the time to carefully consider your own needs and those of your company, you can present a compelling case for why a flexible work schedule would be beneficial.
Be open to negotiation and compromise. Your boss may have concerns or constraints that you haven't considered, and being willing to work together to find a solution that meets everyone's needs can go a long way towards securing their support.
Asking for a flexible work schedule can be a positive step towards achieving a better work-life balance, but it's important to approach the conversation thoughtfully and with a plan in place.
With the right preparation and mindset, you can increase your chances of getting the flexibility you need to thrive both in the office and at home.