You’ve thought about it, and thought about it. Now, you’ve resigned yourself to this sobering fact: there is no way that your job could be a flexible job. After all, your position requires you to be in the office from 9-5, each and every day, eliminating the option to ever work remotely. But does that mean that you’re doomed to spend the rest of your working life stuck inside an office?

Not necessarily.

In theory, almost any job can indeed be a flexible job. You just have to figure out what type of flex matters most to you, because there is a big difference in the type of flexible jobs that are out there. Essentially, flex comes in two forms: flexibility in location, and flexibility in schedule.

Flexibility with where you work.

There are very few jobs that are locked into one specific location all the time. Even the most typical office jobs can be done from home at least once in a while, whether it’s answering emails, or working on parts of particular assignments. During times of crisis, such as bad storms or sick kids, you can (and should) be able to work from home without having to take a day off or lose wages. Remember, an office is simply another space; there isn’t anything inherently specific to it that requires all of its workers to be there all the time. You may or may not be able to turn your office job into a full-time telecommuting job, but you should have the flexibility of working from home should the need arise. Virtually anything that can be done in the office can be done, well, virtually.

Flexibility in your schedule.

Maybe you’re caring for an aging parent who has weekly morning therapy appointments. Or maybe you want to be there when your kindergartener gets off the schoolbus. While it’s important to be somewhat in sync with the rest of your team, having some flexibility in your schedule means that you can meet the demands of your workday as well as the demands on your personal life. If you need flex in terms of time, you can ask your boss if you can have a flexible schedule. For example, you might start your workday earlier (and end it earlier), or even work a compressed workweek, where you’ll work longer hours a few days a week in order to have one or two days off completely.

Even if you have the type of job that does require you to go into an office, you can still find ways in which to make it flexible. Simply determine what your needs are, and you can find your flex—and work-life balance, too.

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