The art of balancing family life and career is fraught with highs and lows, and there are times when it’s necessary to address your employer about alternate arrangements. Always maintain a professional attitude to show that you are committed and reliable, and that you take your work commitments seriously. Promotional Consultant Today shares these four important steps to take when negotiating flexible work arrangements.
Step 1: Assess your job and employer.
Will they allow you to try flex options? Some jobs are strict about a physical presence in the office during regular business/office hours. For those with more flexibility from their employers, consider if working in an alternate location would be beneficial. Can you handle the independence and distractions, if it saves you commuting time and costs?
Step 2: Find out where you work best.
Many thrive in home offices, which allow them to save on childcare costs, while others find home offices distracting and unproductive. On face value, working from home may seem to be the most convenient option, but before seizing the opportunity, remember that working at home doesn’t necessarily make it convenient.
Step 3: If you are a parent or caregiver, drop the guilt-factor.
Recognize that you shouldn’t feel like a bad parent if you come to the realization that you can’t work and care for a child in a synchronous manner, and that you are more productive when you keep the two worlds largely separate. Perhaps you’re the type that needs a designated working space. Seek out the best work arrangement and reassure your employer that you’re not seeking a favor, but asking for an alternative way to produce the same level of work expected.
Step 4: Champion your work
Once you’ve started your new work arrangement, remember that you may not be physically in the office as often as usual. Make sure you take these measures to ensure that you get the credit you deserve:
- Document your performance and work results. Check-in daily if needed with your boss.
- Be clear about the expectations. You may not be able to work fulltime, but can you still produce full-time work.
- Set up periodic meetings with your supervisor to go over expectations.
- If something urgent comes up at work, have a family contingency plan.
While there is no “one size fits all” approach, variations in theme and creative strategizing and planning will allow you to achieve the best of both your family and career spheres of life.
Source: Dr. Farzanna Haffizulla is a speaker and expert in work/life balance. Her book, Harmony of the Spheres, offers methods to streamline workloads, solve interpersonal workplace issues and offers practical advice on integrating work and home life. In addition, she runs the websites BusyMomMD, an informative site for modern, educated women juggling career, family and community life, and HouseCallsMD, providing a portal to better healthcare.