Negotiate a Flexible Schedule
QUESTION: For several reasons, I need to either work from home or telecommute. How do I negotiate truly flexible working arrangements?
WHAT THE EXPERT SAYS: This certainly can be done. Your job is to persuade the company to agree with you that working from home makes sense -- for both of you. Therefore, in your letter, emphasize the benefits the company will receive as a result of you working from home -- such as being more productive because you can work during time you otherwise would be commuting.
I would also anticipate and address some of the company's concerns, such as how you will be able to communicate with other employees, your willingness to come in for meetings and how you can demonstrate your increased flexibility.
If there are other people in your company (or in similar companies) with responsibilities similar to yours who telecommute or work flexible hours, then using those examples as successful models may also be persuasive. Finally, if you face resistance, try to clarify the significant concerns of the employer and develop new solutions to address them.
If you are new to the organization or your current position, seek the help of a colleague (preferably in management) who has some experience at the company and who can help you anticipate any concerns your boss might have.
If this is an important issue for you and you are interviewing for a new job, be sure to have this conversation before accepting a job offer.
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