By Kate Sykes, CareerMums
I know this sounds daunting, but it is important for your family and your career.
The following steps below will give you a structured approach to negotiating flexible working arrangements with your employer:
Step 1: Know the facts
Know the facts. Request a copy of your organisation's Flexible Work Policy. There may also be a Telecommuting Policy. Refer to the 'right to request flexibility' law in the National Employment Standards (www.fairwork.gov.au). Know your opportunties and limitations. Speak to other employees who are working flexibly. Find out how they negotiated their working arrangements.
Step 2: Create a Business Case Proposal
Next, prepare a business case proposal for your manager. A proposal provides formality to an arrangement and can be filed for review at a later date. Use the following questions as a guide to include in your business case proposal to work flexibly. Remember to solve any perceived problems that may arise:
- Why do you need to work flexibly?
- What type of flexible work arrangement are you proposing? So job share, part time, work from home arrangements etc. (give at least 2 variations in work patterns)
- What would be the impact on your job responsibilities and tasks?
- Can you recommend any solutions?
- What will be the impact on your stakeholders i.e. customers, colleagues, etc.
- What aspects of your role could be done from home?
- Are there any costs or cost savings associated with this flexible work arrangement?
- Why do you think you can work flexibly in an effective manner?
- What measurement criteria can you propose to measure the success of the flexible work arrangement you are proposing?
Make an appointment with your manager of HR contact to discuss the option of working flexibly. Present him/her with your business case proposal. Treat it as a business transaction. Your objective is to make your manager comfortable with what you have proposed and to give him/her options.
Step 4: Making Flexibility Work
When your flexible work arrangement has been approved, consider the following tips:
- Offer a 3-6 month trial period. You then have an opportunity to demonstrate how successful your working arrangement can be.
- Determine what work will be done differently as a result fo the flexible work arrangement and communicate how it will work with your team, clients and other stakeholders.
- Agree to a regular meeting with your manager to monitor the flexible work arrangement.
- Keep a diary note of how things are going for the first 3-6 months. Identify what is working and what could be improved.
- Seek feedback from team members and clients every 6 months and implement any suggested improvements.
- Discuss any concerns that arise with your manager.
Get in touch if you have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org