Image of a city for Manisha Dorawala blog on how to negotiate a flexible schedule at work

Flexible work schedules are becoming increasingly popular at companies around the world. With today’s busy society, employees like having the option to work different hours, from home, or some other schedule that best suits their needs. Maybe you’re a person who works well late at night or maybe you recently had children and would like to spend more time at home caring for them. If you’ve carefully thought over whether or not a flexible schedule is best for you, it’s time to learn how to talk through the actual negotiation.

Make a plan

Before heading into the meeting, you’ll need to be ready with what you’re going to say and how you’ll say it. This post guides you through those basic details, but it’s important you plan ahead and possibly even write everything down before going into your actual meeting. It’s also important to know when you’ll ask to discuss having a more flexible schedule. You’ll need to figure out when the best time to ask your manager for something is during the day.

Body language

The way you move indicates more than you would probably like it to. When you’re asking for a flexible work schedule, make sure your body language conveys confidence and relaxation. Avoid hunching over or crossing your arms. Make sure you hold good posture and keep your body open, indicating honesty and trustworthiness.

Choose your words

If you want to be persuasion, you’ll need to use the correct language. Rehearse what you’ll say when you’re alone, maybe even consider recording yourself so you can hear how you sound. Choose words that convey confidence and friendliness to boost your chances of getting a flexible work schedule. Your listener wants to like what they hear and they’ll be more likely to grant your request if you make them feel good.

Benefit the company

Your main focus should revolve around how your flexible schedule benefits the company. There could be a variety of ways this occurs, such as you’re more productive when you work from home or when you work later. Maybe your commute is long and takes up a lot of your energy. You might be saving the company resources as well, if you aren’t using their supplies and utilities. Make sure you highlight how a flexible schedule helps you and the business.

Consider the possibility of “no”

Finally, it’s important to acknowledge there’s a chance that you’ll be refused. If you are turned down, be ready to continue to argue your case. Is there a slightly different schedule that your employer would feel more comfortable with? Could you try a new schedule on a trial run for a couple of weeks before a final decision is made? If you’re willing to negotiate the type of schedule, you may still get a great option, just not the one you had in mind.