Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to adjust your work schedule to your family’s needs instead of the other way around? With work-life balance becoming increasingly important these days, smart employers are waking up to the fact that if they do not want to lose their best employees, they will need to be open to the concept of part-time or flexi-hour arrangements.
Here are some tips to help you negotiate for flexible or part-time hours so that you can take your kids to school in the morning, spend more time with them or focus on the areas of your life that have been long-neglected.
1. Decide On What You Want And Why You Want It
Think of what you really want and the reasons behind it. Do you want the option to start and finish early at the office so that you can take your children to school and finish household chores leaving your weekend free for fun family time? Are you keen on a four- or three-day work-week so that you can spend more time with your children, take care of your ailing parent, study part-time or work on your side business?
These are compelling reasons to remind yourself why you are negotiating with your boss in the first place and to motivate you to continually find a mutually satisfying solution.
2. Look At It From Their Perspective
To increase your chances of having a positive reception, make sure that your relationship with your employer is great when you approach them to talk about flexible work hours.
Start by looking at the type of business the company runs, the role that you play and how your flexible hours may benefit them. For example, say you are a technical support staff member who wants an early start and you know that there are a lot of support-related calls coming in from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. that are unattended due to the normal working hours. You can offer to arrive early by 8:00 a.m. to take these calls and leave an hour earlier, which is fine because your colleagues will be present to handle the calls at that time. This will benefit the company who can now inform clients that their opening hours have expanded, giving them an edge over competitors.
3. Anticipate Objections And Offer Good Solutions
If your boss is receptive during your first discussion, kudos to you! However, sometimes getting what you want may require some compromises.
For example, your boss may say that if they give this privilege to you, others may want it themselves. In which case, you can negotiate for 3 early start days instead of the full 5 that you initially wanted, giving room for other colleagues to start early if they wish to do so.
Look at competitors who are offering flexi hours or part-time options successfully and find out what makes it so effective. You can then prepare a list of anticipated questions and objections to help you further your case, such as having someone on hand (working remotely or otherwise) at odd hours when the rest of the staff have left work after office hours, or down-sizing to a 4-day work-week, giving financial savings to the company.
4. Offer A Risk-Free Guarantee
Just as how any 30-day guarantee gives you peace of mind when trying out a new product or service, you can do the same for employers who are sitting on the fence about your request So, if your boss counters your proposal with a “What if this does not work?” you can respond with a suggestion to try it for a month or two and review it afterwards.
Be sure to list the potential benefits that the employer will enjoy: retaining great talent, reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, motivated and loyal employees, and greater talent being keen to join the company.
Negotiation is a two-way process and if you are well-prepared and have both your company and your personal interests at heart, you have a high chance of getting the work-life balance that you want. We wish you the very best of luck!
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