If you feel stuck in a 9-to-5 grind, odds are you’ve contemplated leaving your current job in search of a more flexible work option. But what if you could just tailor your current job to better fit your needs? You may be surprised to find that all you really have to do is ask!
Of course, every company is different. But if you feel you could achieve a better work/life balance by implementing one of the options below, it’s definitely worth discussing with your supervisor or human resources contact. Here are a few tips on ideas you could present:
1. Ask to change your schedule to compressed hours or part-time. A compressed work hours schedule is typically a 40-hour-per-week schedule that is done in four days instead of five. That requires working approximately 10 hours a day for four days, and then having a three-day weekend. Alternatively, you might try asking to shift to part-time, or possibly to split your job between another person who is also part-time. No doubt you’ll forfeit some of your salary, but the tradeoff may be worth it to you—and the savings may make it worth it to your company as well. If you’ve proven yourself as an invaluable employee, your company might be more open to this than you think in an effort to avoid losing you altogether.
2. Try working flexibility into your existing company benefits. Although the “corporate world” is often vilified, there are actually many, many companies who really do strive to make their employees happy. Part of the problem may be that they just don’t know what employees want most. Try surveying your coworkers on what types of flexibility they would value most and presenting that information to your superiors. It never hurts to ask in a respectful manner, especially if you have data to backup your requests.
3. Discuss the possibility (and benefits) of easing into remote work. As technology continues to make remote work easier, working from home is becoming an increasingly popular option for corporate workers. Why? The benefits are huge for both companies and employees alike, including saving time, being more productive, and focusing on work rather than office politics. If you think it might be a leap to go completely remote right away, ask for two or three days a week or even a few days a month to start, and prove you can still get your work done effectively.
4. Present a plan for unlimited vacation. Unlimited vacation policies have gained a lot of popularity in the past few years. Employees feel trusted that they will get their work done, and can still enjoy time-off when they please. And employers are benefitting financially by not having to pay out for unused vacation days. If you feel like this is something your company might be open to opting into, present some facts on why it’s good for both sides and see if it’s something that can be adopted into your contract. Again, it’s always worth the ask!
Work flexibility is becoming a huge movement as corporations shift focus from a traditional management structure to finding what’s best for companies as a whole. If you feel like your company simply isn’t open to hearing your ideas or aiding you in your search for more flexibility, then perhaps it is time to actually just move on. But if you enjoy your work, don’t feel hopeless that things will never change when it comes to your schedule. Sometimes it just takes someone who is willing to speak up to change a situation.
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