Sign up to SHE DEFINED monthly

Enjoy unique perspectives, exclusive interviews, interesting features, news and views about women who are living exceptional lives, delivered to your inbox every month.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sign up to SHE DEFINED monthly

Loving our content?

If you love what you see, then you’ll love SHE DEFINED Monthly. Enjoy unique perspectives, exclusive interviews, interesting features, news and views about women who are living exceptional lives, delivered to your inbox every month.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


How to negotiate flexible working arrangements

How to negotiate flexible working arrangements

In most places around the world, employees have the freedom to ask for more flexible work arrangements, but there is often no guarantee that their request will be accepted.

With the continuous rise of remote jobs and careers, it seems like employers would be more willing to make flexible accommodations.

However, some superiors are still opposed to the idea, which is why a good plan of action is needed to ensure success.

To that end, here is how you can negotiate more flexible working arrangements:

Look through your contract

Start by seeing if flexible work is already offered by your company, whether it’s available to all employees, if a probation period exists, or if they simply don’t provide these work arrangements.

Then, take a look at your employment contract and try to find anything that may impact your request.

Asking for accommodations that simply can’t be met might not go down well but in most cases, employers will be willing to provide flexible hours or remote work opportunities, especially if you have a valid reason for making the request.

Just keep your contract in mind to demonstrate to your superior that you’ve done your due diligence.

Prepare a solid plan in advance

To set yourself up for success, think of solutions for potential blockers or issues in advance.

While meeting your boss with a fully formed plan might seem a bit nerve-wracking, it will likely be more productive than a vague conversation.

Develop a detailed plan ahead of time and construct a day-to-day schedule you’d like to propose to your superior. This plan should include your preferred working hours, work days, work-from-home options, and any other flexible arrangements you’re seeking.

To increase your chances of success, include a few solid reasons for flexible work arrangements in your plan as well, such as family obligations or health issues.

Leverage all available resources

In an effort to solidify your plan, you could also leverage a few resources that might be available to you as an employee.

This could be something as simple as asking the available HR services to support your flexible work proposal, or asking co-workers who have successfully made flexible working requests in the past for advice.

On the other hand, you might work for a company that regularly uses professional contingent workforce management services. In this case, asking for remote work or other flexible arrangements will be much easier, as the right systems will already be in place.

Demonstrate your commitment

While you likely have personal reasons for requesting flexible work arrangements, business requirements always have to be considered. After all, company goals and objectives are usually the priority for employers.

With that in mind, think about how your request for flexibility will impact your work in a more practical manner before speaking with your superior.

You might want to develop an additional plan for this aspect, such as thinking of ideas for distributing a full-time workload over a shorter work week, for example.

This will help to demonstrate your commitment to the company and your role, while also supporting your employer in finding a suitable solution.

Communicate with your employer

Once the time comes to make a formal request, it might be advantageous to prepare a few benefits of flexible work arrangements and mention them to your superior.

For instance, you might experience higher productivity levels when you don’t need to commute or your stress may be lower if you work from the comfort of your home. Think of all possible advantages and don’t be afraid to mention them to your boss.

While most employers will be willing to support the wellbeing of their staff, it won’t hurt to solidify your position with some positive arguments.

Aim to be open and honest

Although you don’t want to highlight the fact that shifting to flexible work will be a noticeable transition, failing to mention the support you need throughout this period might come with certain setbacks.

For example, you can ask for a company-issued phone or laptop if needed for remote work or request access to data and information that is necessary for completing your responsibilities.

Not only are these reasonable accommodations every employer should provide, but they also aid in developing a solid plan for the success of your flexible work arrangements.

Asking your superiors for different accommodations can often seem like a daunting process. But by following the tips mentioned above, you can streamline the procedure and successfully negotiate suitable work arrangements for a more flexible career.

Peter Minkoff writer SHE DEFINED

This article was written by Peter Minkoff.

Peter is a lifestyle writer from Brisbane, currently traveling through Europe. A fashion styling graduate, he’s a true craft beer and soy latte aficionado, he loves spending his days at the beach and visiting second-hand stores on a daily basis.

Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.