It’s 70+ degrees in Seattle today and I’m loving the fact that I can be doing some of my work from home and enjoying this beautiful weather. That got me to thinking about how each of us can create the perfect work schedule for ourselves.
So, ask yourself . . . .
Is your work schedule working for you?
How productive are your feeling right now?
How worried are you about:
- Getting home in time to pick up the kids?
- Your lack of energy because of the 12-hour days?
- Spending way too much time in traffic getting to and from work?
- Knowing that your most productive hours are in the evening, but your shift starts at 7:30 AM?
- A 40+ hour work week no longer fits your situation and you really only want to be working 24-32 hours?
If you are interested in getting more out of yourself, and life in general, you may want to think about requesting an adjustment to your work schedule to become happier, more focused, productive, and successful.
Before you make your request, spend some time processing how an adjustment will benefit your employee and you personally.
Some benefits to your employer:
- Staggered shifts mean more hours of coverage. This is becoming more and more important in our global economy.
- Tailoring an employees’ shift to their internal body clock may result in more productivity (are they “morning people” or “night people”?).
- Happier employees are more loyal, reducing turnover and attracting top talent.
Some benefits to you:
- Less stress.
- More work-life balance.
- Less commuting saves time and money.
Thoughts on making your pitch:
- If a custom or flex schedule is new to your employer, they may be very uncomfortable making the adjustment. Be respectful of that concern.
- Spend a great deal of time thinking about how a revised schedule benefits the company. Your job is to help make the company more successful. How will your requested schedule serve that purpose?
- Give serious thought to IF the revised schedule is really an option for your responsibilities. If you work on a multi-person production line, customizing your schedule may not be possible. However, if you largely work independently, the adjustment may not impact your employer or co-workers at all.
- Clearly detail what type of revised schedule you are requesting:
- Revision from five 8-hour days, to four 10-hour days?
- Co-working (two people sharing one position)?
- Full tele-commuting?
- Partial tele-commuting?
- Consider how your employer can hold you accountable. 12+ years ago I had employees that wanted to work from home. This was all new to me and I was uncertain how to ensure they were working when they were supposed to be (were they doing laundry or watching Oprah?). Together we came to an agreement about availability and productivity when they weren’t physically in the office.
- Present your request in a professional manner. Your request will be given much more consideration if it is presented as a fully thought-out proposal vs “hey boss, I’d like work from home from now on.” Include your proposal:
- The requested schedule.
- The “why” behind the request and how the company will benefit.
- Your vision of accountability.
- Considering this may be new to your company, ask for a trial period to prove the viability of the new schedule.
Flexible work schedules are certainly on the rise and becoming more the norm. In large part, this new way of working is due in large part to those employee pioneers that proved flexible schedule really do work . . . benefiting both employers and employees.
Owning my own business allows me to create a work schedule that works for me. My guess is, given appropriate thought and consideration, you can create a work schedule that works better for you too!