Having the ability to work flexibly be it location or working hours is getting very popular amongst all ages in the workforce in particular amongst millennials. In fact, 70% of Millennials are of the opinion that having flexible working hours makes a job more appealing. Also, 33% of UK workers believe that by 2025 the Monday to Friday working week will become redundant.

In the UK, employees have the right to ask for flexible working hours if they have been working for the same employer for 26 weeks continuously. Theresa May has been an advocator of flexible working hours and suggested it should be available from the very first day of their job.

Flexible working can benefit both companies and employees. For companies, they can reduce the costs of office space needed as workers can share desks. While employees can be much happier and productive as they can have a better work-life balance. Giving the option for flexible working could benefit companies attracting a more diverse workforce. Still, some companies are allergic to the idea while old school managers might need to be convinced to allow it.

Here are some tips to take on board when looking for flexible working:

Be familiar with your company’s culture and policy

First, find out what the company’s flexible working policy is and if there even is one at all. Be very familiar with the processes before meeting your manager.  The policy should tell you about the processes such as when you can expect to hear back, the feedback process before discussing anything with your manager. If there is no policy, then you must go and find out what the company culture is in terms of flexibility. If some colleagues have some type of flexibility than your manager may be more accepting of your request.

Be Familiar with the ins and outs of business activities

Before you go about putting together a proposal for flexible working be sure to have a good knowledge of the ins and outs of business activities during the week. When are you needed the most? Are meetings held at certain times in the day? Do tasks have to be completed by a particular time? These deadlines might not just refer to you but also the company as a whole.

Managers are generally open to new ideas. So, when going talking about it be sure to explain how the move to flexi-time will not only benefit you but how it would benefit the company as a whole. Be able to show to your manager how the flexibility could save money or time.

Some organisations offer more than flexible working hours. For example, Virgin offer a number of flexible working options such as working from home, unlimited leave, integrates technology and wellbeing in the workplace. This encourages their staff to get the right balance between work and their private lives. Thus becoming happier and more productive.

Reassure your manager

Try and get an understanding of any worries your manager might have by allowing you flexible working. Perhaps is it that productivity will drop or that everyone will want flexible working? If you can find this out then you can reassure your manager about these worries before going speaking to him/her.

Certain managers don’t like employees working from home. They may not be able to keep tabs on what their staff are doing. If this is a worry of your managers, discuss ideas as to how you can stay connected and communicate with your manager throughout the day. Perhaps communicate through apps such as slack or a phone call. Discuss all options with your boss.

Indicate that you are flexible too

An important thing to remember when requesting flexible working is that it is a negotiation. So, this means when you are raising your request, you need to be able to describe what way you want to work flexibly.

Don’t be so naïve as to not to have a plan B as more than likely a counter-proposal will happen. You need to be open to negotiation in that perhaps they may ask you to work at least one to two days in the office still. If your manager is still unconvinced by it all then you could always ask for a trial period. Keep in mind that for flexible working to work is that there is two-way communication and trust between employer and employee.

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