Thursday, April 19, 2007

Proposing a More Flexible Work Schedule to your Employer

Persuading your boss to allow you to work a more flexible schedule may be just as easy as asking for it; but you have to be convincing and accommodating when you ask. Your manager is most likely to approve your request for a more flexible work schedule if you present a clear, professional, and feasible written proposal.

Providing your boss with all the relevant details will be the first vital step to securing your new schedule. Be clear about what you are hoping to accomplish and what you both have to gain. Give your boss incentive to go along with your proposal by laying out the benefits to the company. Most bosses may need to be reminded of the profitability of flexible work schedules including reduced overhead and increased productivity. Detail what tasks need to be done, who will be responsible for what duties, and how the work will get done. Lay out exactly when and where you will work. Will you be sending completed work across your company network from a home office? Will you be splitting responsibilities with someone in the office? Can you prove to your boss that you have an acceptable work environment at your home office? Have you established deadlines for existing projects to be completed? Do you have a contingency plan for when you are not available?

Delivery of your proposal can be just as important as what is contained within the proposal itself. Do a little research to determine the best time of day to approach your boss to present and discuss your proposal. It is sometimes best to schedule a meeting when both you and your boss are available and prepared for discussion. Additionally, read your employee handbook and find out if there are existing policies that deal with flexible scheduling. You can use the vernacular of the handbook to make your proposal more appealing to your employer. Beyond written policy, find out if there is any precedent set by other employees working flexible schedules. You can then cite the success of existing work arrangements.

Make your pitch in person, delivering a hard copy of your written proposal. It is also a good idea to email your proposal, leaving an e-paper trail of your efforts. You should be willing to compromise in order to make your proposed schedule work best for your employer and you. Before meeting with your boss, consider other scheduling options that would work within your responsibilities without sacrificing too much of the balance you were hoping to achieve.

Do your research. Write your proposal. Breathe. Now..."Ask and it will be given to you."

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