Updated: Aug 18
In the Covid 19 era, home-based work surged because companies did not want to lose revenue. But as cases declined, companies demanded that their employees return to work in their offices. Similar to pre-Covid 19, there are several reasons why workers want flexible work schedules.
How to negotiate flexible working hours with your boss
The main problem is that some workers find it difficult to negotiate flexible work hours with their boss. There are three categories of workers: those who show up for an interview, those who receive a job offer, and those who are already employed. They all need a different approach to negotiating flexible work hours with their boss. Below are some methods and steps to help you negotiate the schedule easily.
Do your research.
First and foremost, thoroughly research company policies and employment contracts. If your company policies or employment contract already allow for flexible hours, it's easy for you to negotiate. In other cases, you'll need to use your skills and find ways to talk to your employer. Thorough research will make you appear confident and give your boss the impression that you have done your "homework."
Put a plan in place.
Showing up at your boss's office with only incomplete documentation to support your negotiation comes across as vague. You should write down your arguments in advance before you go into the negotiation. You need to know why you would prefer a remote or hybrid job to a fixed work schedule. If you have valid reasons and evidence to support the company's commitment, you will win the negotiation.
Provide clarity in communication.
The most important thing in a negotiation is to communicate your part. You can communicate either through emails, letters, or a formal face-to-face meeting. Choosing an appropriate means of communication will allow you to clearly state your reasons for a flexible work schedule.
For emails, start with shorter content, as this can be a comparatively long process. Similar to emails, writing and sending a letter to your boss can lead to more clarity and speed up the negotiation process. Moreover, a face-to-face conversation is highly beneficial to avoid misunderstandings. The direct conversation would help you and your boss to understand each other's point of view well. At the same time, it is useful to accompany the conversation with written discussion points to avoid future ambiguities.
Negotiate through compromise.
A boss would never want their employees to leave the company because of unpleasantness in the company, because it could trigger negative word of mouth. At the same time, it would be unfair for them to violate company policies and give special privileges to a particular employee. When negotiating, it is important that your boss and you find a middle ground so that both parties can benefit. A strict decision may result in your boss having a negative image of you.
Therefore, the negotiation part should be achieved through compromise. For example, if you insist on leaving at 4 p.m. while your boss wants you to stay in the office until 6 p.m., you can both discuss and maintain your arguments for your decision. This way, the negotiation process can become easy for both parties. You can also suggest a trial period of perhaps three months to review your performance with a flexible work schedule.
The company is always concerned about the employee's organizational commitment and loyalty. Here you can assure your boss that even if you work from home, you will always be available for any project that comes to mind. Include how you can be reached, such as by email, IM or phone. You may also indicate your previous experience with telecommuting.
Whether pre-19th century or post-19th century: Workers have always felt the need to work flexible hours. Whether it's because they want to spend time with family, pursue their passion, or for other reasons. Regardless of whether they are entry-level or experienced workers, employees are still hesitant when it comes to negotiating flexible work schedules.
While this article has provided insight into how to research, plan and present reasons for working remotely, do not go against your manager's final decision. It is always advisable to compromise in the negotiation, backed by assurances of the company's commitment and loyalty.