A sense of autonomy at work is important. When you feel in control of your time and responsibilities, you feel more satisfied and more motivated. But gaining this flexibility and freedom is tricky, especially as many companies are expecting even more of employees when they transition to working remotely. Still, more and more companies are open to flexible working arrangements to keep their most talented and productive employees happy.
If you’re looking for more flexibility from your company, these steps might help you get it.
1) Ask to try things on an interim basis
Request a trial period, perhaps three to six months, to try to ease your boss’s fears. Keep track of your quantifiable achievements as proof that the arrangement is working. Focus on staying in close communication with your boss, so he trusts you and doesn’t feel like you’re absent.
2) Put it in writing
Draft a proposal that describes your ideal work schedule, compensation and benefits and what flexibility you’re willing to demonstrate in return. Make the request in person and prepare a formal pitch—an emailed request is easier for your boss to shoot down!
3) Take baby steps
If telecommuting isn’t an option, ask for modified hours that better suit your needs. Or request that you work from home one day a week. These are starting points and might open the door for bigger shifts later on.
4) Explain what’s in it for your company
When you present to your boss, create a plan to that highlights how you can boost your productivity, not that focuses on your own needs. Convince him that your plan is in the best interest of the company.
Stay in touch with your office if you’re able to work remotely, keep the lines of communication open. Always be willing to come in for meetings or touch base for lunch. You need to prove that you’re enthusiastically committed to the company and available for that valuable face time.
5) Be willing to compromise
Stay open to your employer’s suggestions. Remember that his priority is that you perform well and that you’re reliable. When the trial period is up, use documentation to demonstrate that your productivity has increased. Be prepared to make tweaks to the arrangement if necessary. But remember that if you really need a more flexible working arrangement, there are plenty of companies out there that are happy to accommodate that perk.