Making the case for flexible working to your employer
Check if your employer has a policy on flexible working and a standard application form. If no application for exists, then there is a template in this section that you can use.
In making your case, it is important to consider the following;
1) The advantages of flexible working
Look at it from the perspective of your employer and make sure that you understand the benefits for them, such as increased productivity and reduced travel costs. Highlight these in your application.
2) Be clear on the type of flexible working you want
You should work out exactly how you would like to carry out flexible working, e.g, different working hours, working from home, part time working. There are many different types of flexible working and your proposal must be the one that meets your particular needs.
3) How you will achieve your outputs
When flexible working or teleworking, the main shift of focus is to see your job in terms of your specific outputs rather than time spent in the office. Explain how you will achieve all the various outputs that are expected of you.
4) Cover off the concerns your employer may have.
If you want to work from a home office or garden office, your employer will need to know that your home environment is suitable for the flexible working arrangements. This is both in terms of health and safety and freedom from other distractions. Offer to carry out a Risk Assessment of your home environment, looking at health and safety issues.
You will also need to explain how you will maintain communications with your manager and other team members. As well as email, make sure you also schedule in time for regular telephone and personal contact, as well as conference calls and maybe video conferencing.
Your manager must be reassured that you will be able to be self-disciplined and motivated and that you will not suffer from feelings of isolation. You need to think this through yourself. If you are confident that these issues will not be a problem and you have strategies for dealing with them if they arise, then say so to your employer.
5) Set out flexible working proposal in writing and discuss face-to face
Set out your proposal in writing. Doing so will also help clarify what you want to get out of flexible working. Combine this with a face-to-face discussion with your employer.
Listen to any objections your employer raises and, if necessary, go back to them later with specific suggestions as to how any disadvantages of flexible working can be overcome.
6) Refer your employer to this flexible working toolkit
If your employer needs further convincing about the advantages of flexible working, ask them to take a look at the employer’s flexible working toolkit on this website and, in particular, the case studies which show increasing productivity.
7) Set up flexible working as a trial initially
Make sure that your employer sees it as a flexible working trial initially. This will seem less of an irrevocable commitment and less of a big step. Suggest that you try out flexible working or for a period and then review how it is working out for both parties. Make sure you know in advance how you will judge if it is a success.