These days we all know someone working flexibly. Two days, three days, compressed weeks. Some seem to nail it while others still struggle. Why flexibility?
According to the Diversity Council of Australia, flexibility is more important for parents, which is not surprising. In 2016, Workplace Gender Equality Agency reported 52 per cent of organisations in Australia have a flexible working arrangements policy. These days everyone wants to work for a flexible employer.
How flexible is yours?
As parents, we need to be flexible. It’s a non-negotiable. Sick kids, day care drop offs, school concerts and the list goes on. Employers also need to be just as flexible. It’s called give and take. These days, most organisations are accommodating of flexible requests. But gaining approval is one thing. Ensuring success is another.
Flexibility must work for both you and the employer and it’s important that steps are taken to ensure success for both parties. So how can you nail it? Here are some of our tips:
- Make sure you negotiate working days and hours that work for you and your organisation.
- Set expectations about communication and availability. This is critical and too often this expectation is not managed, resulting in a disgruntled employee receiving calls on their day off. Some things to think about and discuss with your manager:
- How do you want to be contacted on your non-working days, if at all?
- How will work be handed over prior to non-working days? What happens if an important meeting falls on your non-working day?
- Make sure no team meetings or regular meetings fall on your non-working day. If they do, speak with your manager to change the time.
- If you and your manager are open to it, consider working a regular day from home. Without the commute time, you can be extra effective and churn through some work uninterrupted (all in the comfort of your favourite tracksuit pants.)
- Make sure you communicate the arrangement clearly with your team, stakeholders and others.
- Speak with your manager about your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Do these need to be revised if you are working less days or are they still the same? Make sure you align on what is realistic here.
- Evaluate regularly, checking the arrangement is working for both you and your organisation. Be sure to keep the conversation open and honest.
Working flexibly is an on-going conversation. Talk regularly to your manager and learn from others. Everyone has a different take on working flexibility. The key is for you to find what works best for you and your family.
And like everything, continually re-assess to make sure it’s working for both you and your employer.
Written by the team at Circle In
- Be sure to check out our template – Employee request to flexible working arrangements template
- Our checklist to requesting flexible work