4 Ways to Ask For a Flexible Work Schedule to Work From Home

Work from home becomes more popular 

Some time ago, flexible working hours were considered as a perk. But, the times are changing, engaging it more in smartphones, tablets, and laptops, and flexibility can be achieved much easier. This might mean work from home one day per week, doing longer hours four days to leave the fifth day to be easier and not so busy. 

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There is some good news regarding this issue, at least in the UK. In the end of June 2014, new rules were introduced which give all workers with at least 26 weeks' continuous service in their job a "right to request" to work flexibly. Depending on a case, they are more able to choose work schedule and if they want to combine work from home with work at the office. 

This announcement will extend the previous regulations which covered only those with children aged under 17 (or under 18 if disabled) or others who had caring responsibilities. It also means that employees will be able to request a change to their working hours or if they want to work from home. However, it is going to be a demanding question how to make this formal request to your employer.

So, here are suggested four different ways how to ask for a flexible schedule:

1. Imagine yourself in the employer's situation, put yourself in their shoes.

Make sure to understand that these requests may have influence on your employer's daily routine. It may cause additional costs or difficulties to reorganise the work, he might need to recruit additional staff, even if he is not able to. Moreover, it may have impact on company's performance or customer demand. Also, it may warn about insufficient work for a certain period.

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2. Know and understand exactly what you are asking for. Flexible work can be defined as:

  • Part- time work or staggered hours
  • Job tasks sharing
  • Ability to work from home or work online from time to time
  • Compressed hours (for instance, five working days fitting to four)
  • Ability to take paid or unpaid leave during school holidays or working a certain number of hours a year.

3. Make it formal.

Also, it is recommended to make your request written. This is recommended so that to ensure you have a proper "paper trail" in case of any dispute. Also, it means all sides should be clear as to know what is exactly being requested- for example if you would like to work from home, you should clear out which days and for how long you are going to do that. 

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Then your employer shall appoint you a meeting within 28 days to discuss the application and a decision should be taken within 14 days after the meeting.

4. Be specific and clear.

It is also advised to detail as clearly as possible how you want your flexible way of working to be. Thus, outline how you would like your working hours to be or that you want to work from home, and how it could change.

Demonstrate that you recognise how this change will affect not only your role but also your colleagues and the rest of business. What is most important, you should show the benefits of your work from home and also highlight how you plan to mitigate any difficulties.

Finally, if your request was declined consider if the decision was fair, whether you could have presented your case in a different way, and if you are still interested, think carefully how you could approach next time.