10 Tips to Ask For Flexible Working Hours – Introvert Whisperer

10 Tips to Ask For Flexible Working Hours - Introvert Whisperer

10 Tips to Ask For Flexible Working Hours - Introvert Whisperer

Flexibility which comes with your own schedule definitely brings a lot of advantages, starting from the possibility to improve work-life balance to the chance to find your new passion and launch a side business. However, while many of you have probably thought about that, people often refuse even to try to organize such a schedule because they think it doesn’t fit their company’s corporate culture or their position, or they are simply afraid to make a bad impression on the employer.


So consider the suggested 10 tips below as they would not only help you get your desired schedule but would also increase your credibility in the eyes of your employer.


1. Figure out what you really want

A flexible schedule is a general concept that can be interpreted in different ways. Candidates often ask for flexible hours, but everyone understands it in their own way: possibility to have lunch at any time during the working day; opportunity to leave the workplace for personal matters and work it out in the evening or on the weekend; working from home once a week; working four days a week instead of five; or shifting the traditional 9-to-5 to something that works, etc. Have you ever thought if you actually need to work from home some days or shifting the traditional working hours to those more appropriate for you?


Flexible scheduling opportunities might already be available within your company, although you might not currently be aware of it. So check your company policies and ask your manager or colleges to find out what options are there before making a formal request.


3. Try to fill your boss’ shoes

Make sure that your work results will not be affected due to the new schedule. It might be critical for some professions to work directly in the office or in a specific period of time. Additionally, when it comes to the specific industries (such as IT), team work often helps to resolve issues much faster. Consider whether you really have the ability to work as efficiently in a flexible schedule.


4. Try to predict questions

You should start from considering the questions:

– How will a flexible schedule make you more efficient?

– How do you see your work in the new environment?

– When are you going to be available and how your colleges should connect you?

– How are you going to report your results?

– What meetings are you going to attend in person?


Answers are best written as points or short speeches. You may even create presentation materials to show how serious your approach is.


There are two options to discuss flexible hours:

– before accepting a job offer;

– after you have already worked for a while at the company.


Let’s be honest, it is not the best idea to change rules when you have work in the company only for a few months. It does not look professional. So if you did not discuss flexible options at the beginning, you should wait at least six months from your start date to discuss changes (unless something critical happened). Raise this issue at a regular career meeting if this is possible, so you can discuss the results and talk about the strategy for the next period. The timing may be different for you but only when you have shown good results and your boss understands your value for the company.


Ask your colleges with the flexible schedule to share experience of their negotiation. If there is nobody in your company, ask those who were trying to discuss it or find friends from other companies in your sphere and ask them. It could help you determine the most difficult issues in the organization and discussion of flexible working hours and get ready.


Determine the right person to discuss the flexible schedule (in most cases this will be your boss) and put a time on the calendar for both of you to discuss your needs. Do not forget to indicate the topic of the conversation in the invitation to the meeting.


I suggest discussing such requests in person so that you can build a constructive dialogue rather than simply get a response without being able to clarify details or alternatives.


8. Focus on the benefits to the company

Clearly outline the benefits your new schedule will have for the company. Will the flex schedule allow you to take additional responsibilities/ faster respond to customer requests/ being more attentive to details/ etc.? If it is the win-win offer, the conversation becomes more comfortable and your boss will be more receptive and willing to indulge you. To ensure that there is no reason to say “No”, address the possible hindrances, and suggest viable ways to overcome them. It will also show your boss that you care about the overall success of the business, not only about your personal comfort.


9. Ask to do a trial period

Suggesting a trial period is the best way to get your boss’ approval. It will make your employer feel confident that if something goes wrong, he can get things back. The trial period may last from a few weeks to a couple of months. During this period you have to do all your best to show that the flex schedule has been a great decision. It is important to keep track of your work. In the beginning it may be crucial to make detailed reports about your activities and results each working day to avoid misunderstandings.


Remember that it is also a good time for you to understand if it does really work in your case. Do not be afraid to get back to standard schedule if you see that things go wrong and it turned out too heavy to manage the workload this way.


10. Be ready to compromise

Your supervisor may delay your request do not matter how credible your points are. Always be ready to discuss other options and do not give up. Ask why your offer was denied and how you can prove that you deserve a chance. It may be a good idea to come back to this conversation later, for example, on the next annual assessment. If you are sure that you have done everything right and flexible working hours are critical for you, it may be a good reason to quit your job in this company and look for new opportunities.


If this is the case, use global search engines like Jooble, where millions of job openings are published, to explore new opportunities. You can put flexible working hours like a keyword to make you search being more effective. Please note that the flexible schedule is more typical for copywriters (https://us.jooble.org/jobs-flexible-schedule-copywriter), designers, photographers, jobs in the beauty industry, auditors and tax consultants, etc.


Remember that moving into a flexible schedule should not mean that you put the work in the last place. It should help your life become more convenient and enjoyable and being the win-win solution for you and your employer.


Tetiana Turuk,

Jooble country manager

Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleashing your professional potential. Introvert Whisperer

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