A lot of things about our working lives have changed over the last year or so, some for the better and some things we cannot wait to return to normality. Whatever situation your find yourself in, as things begin to open up again and life returns to some kind of normality, there may be some parts of your new working life that you want to hold onto. It’s not a secret that office culture is changing, and employers are realising that they don’t have to warm seats in the workplace to ensure that work is being done. Now might be the right time for you to ask your employer to keep some things how they are now, for your own reasons or not, your employer should not only be willing to listen, but comply with how you want to move forward.
What is flexible working?
Flexible working isn’t as simple as working from home. We all have different priorities and things in life that may simply just get in the way of work, that doesn’t mean that we are any less worthy of a good job role. Since last year, many of us were forced to pack up our desks or workspaces and take work home with us and for some, this has made a huge positive impact.
Your employer being open to flexible working, means that they are happy for you to find a way of working that suits you and your needs. You have the right to request flexible working and making this permanent change might just be the thing you are looking for.
Flexible working can mean flexible hours, not everyone can work the typical 9-5. People have children, commitments to care of a loved one or simply need more time in the morning to commute. Your employer may suggest that you find hours that suit you better, whether that be 10-6, 7-4 etc. Finding a balance that suits you is always best; you may find that you work better and don’t have as much distracting you when trying to work.
Some of us have found that working from home is the perfect fit for them and this past year or so has given workers the opportunity to pick up other important parts of their lives. A job is a commitment, one that many of us need, but it shouldn’t all be about your job. As much as you may love your job, there are other parts of life that are just as important.
You may have had a long commute and working from home has given you the opportunity to have some time back. You may not have noticed how much time getting to and from work may have taken and how much you can really do with that extra time in your day. If this is how you feel, make a request to your employer.
You may simply find that working the typical 8 hours a day just doesn’t work for you. There is such a thing as compressed hours and it means you may work more hours in one day, but for less days a week. This can work for some but not for others. If you are happy with working an hour or two extra a day, it might be worth giving it a go. Everyone’s situation is different, so talk to a HR advisor and they’ll be able to help you discuss whether this is the right route for you and your career.
Part time hours
Working 8-hour days is something we’re used to by now and overall doesn’t feel like that long at all when you’re doing your work. However, life can change and when it does, either asking your employer to change you to a part-time contract or looking for a part-time role might be a good option. This is usually very popular among parents. Whether you have a new-born child, or you need the extra time to do the school runs, HR will always be there to give you the advice you need.
How to make a request for flexible working?
You have the right to request a change in your work schedule if and when you see fit, the employer should take it into consideration, but they don’t necessarily have to agree. It might be best to talk to someone in the HR team before you submit a request to see how the employer handles things like this. They can advise you on what to do and how to submit a request like this.
You should take the time to think about how this will affect your day to day working life, but when you’re ready make sure you have a statement in writing, telling the employer what you would like to change and when you would like this to start.
Citizen’s advice can give more information on how to do this. Click here to go to their website for further information.
Your employer probably has you and your ability to work in their best interest, so if you think flexible working will have a positive impact on your performance, go for it. You need to do what is best for you and your career as well as maintain the work-life balance that is right for you. Things are changing and we are opening our eyes to new working opportunities, so make the changes you want.