Flexible work schedules for employees who work remotely or in hybrid positions may challenge leaders.
Schedules for businesses are becoming more open and flexible as they switch to hybrid or remote workforce models. Leaders learned from the COVID-19 pandemic how flexible work options are beneficial. As a result, many businesses choose to be more flexible as their lives return to normal.
Employees who work remotely or in hybrid positions may feel insecure about asking for a flexible work schedule. Even though they know the benefits, it can be challenging to get one. Here are some of the best and most efficient ways to request more flexibility in work schedules.
1. Assess How Adaptable the Organization Is
Take the time to look around. You can evaluate the company’s adaptability to ask for a flexible work schedule. Do they allow employees to work flexible hours? Leaders set the tone and culture. It’s essential to determine if the request you have is possible within their reach. It may not be the right place for you.
2. Please Share Your Needs and Rationale for Change
Be bold and upfront. This will help you to increase engagement and productivity. It is possible to envision how it might work in practice and then develop a full-fledged solution.
3. Be Transparent and Honest
Employees who feel the need for a flexible work schedule should be open and honest with their reasons. Prepare a well-thought-out case. This will explain the situation in detail, assure the employer that productivity won’t be affected, and show appreciation for the chance to have a flexible schedule. This builds trust.
4. Be Aware of Your Remote Limitations
Honesty about your limitations is critical. We learned how important it is to be efficient with teleworking during the pandemic. A plan should be developed that clearly shows the benefits of remote working for your Organization. You might see more availability because of fewer travels or better productivity due to reduced focus time.
5. Discuss Your Schedules with the Supervisor
Flexible work schedule policies and employee guidelines? These guidelines could include alternative childcare arrangements so that telecommuting parents can work. The plan should be shared with supervisors who may be able to help. The feedback loop employees create with their supervisors is crucial.
6. Demonstrate That Deliverables were Met and Exceeded
An employee who wants to be able to work remotely or on a flexible schedule should demonstrate the deliverables they have achieved and exceeded. As many companies are more concerned with retaining talent than their work environment, the work will speak for itself.
7. Consider the Request As a Remote Business Proposition
Consider it a win-win situation. Treat a request for flexible work hours as a business proposal. Consider the pros and cons of your request and create a plan to minimize any negative impact. You should state the benefits you get from this flexibility and provide a trial period to overcome initial resistance depending on your organization’s culture.
8. All Reservations
The business’s impact is the most important thing. Flexibility in your schedule will bring you more success. This could allow you to better support clients and global team members. It will result in more productivity due to less commute time. How does it impact flexibility? Consider the impact of your decision and ask yourself if you have any reservations.
Hey Remote Workers and You Managers—Take Time to Laugh
Don’t take your schedules too seriously. Remember that laughter is not only the best medicine but a pretty good motivator too.
Remote workers and their managers need to realize that even the best-laid plans of mice and men “aft gang agley.” Part of the charm of the human condition is the uncertainty and surprise that crops us in our lives so often. Indeed, we should plan out our workday. And assuredly, we should be held accountable for the assigned tasks and the goals we make ourselves. But that’s not to say there isn’t a little wiggle room each day for a giggle or two.
So when your remote work is interrupted by the uncertainties of life, go with the flow. At least for a moment or two. If your pet catwalks across your desk during a Zoom conference, don’t treat it like a cat-astrophe. (See what we did there?) Instead, take a minute to introduce “Fluffy” to the other Zoom meeting members. Such a light touch communicates to others your humanity and good temper. It may even win you more flexibility.
By Howie Jones