Positioning for Flextime

How do you get a flexible schedule at work?

For many new moms, flextime -- another name for a flexible work arrangement -- can be the perfect solution to the work-or-stay-home dilemma. Working flexible hours can be a boon for mom, baby, and boss alike. But securing a flextime arrangement is not easy. Many managers worry that crucial work will fall through the cracks, and many moms worry that that a reduced presence at work is worse than none at all. According to Pat Katepo, the founder of Work Options, Inc., the key to working out a good flextime arrangement is planning and negotiation -- before baby arrives.

Before your meet with your boss:

  • Research flextime. Understand what you actually want, what the law and your company may already provide, and what you hope your own arrangement will look like. Reach out to other companies where flextime is used for their expertise and experiences.
  • Talk with co-workers. Be discrete, but try as much as possible to gain the insights of those co-workers who have already tried flextime at your company. Don't be discouraged if they did not have a positive experience. You can build on their experiences, good or bad.
  • Draft a specific plan. Be as professional as possible in both your language and presentation. The look at tone of your proposal will help convey your intentions.

When you meet with your boss:

  • State upfront your commitment to the company. Many bosses worry that a flextime arrangement is prelude to quitting.
  • Offer reasons that benefit the company. Be sure your plan shows why flextime is a good idea for the firm, not just for you.
  • Be prepared to negotiate. Your carefully prepared plan may be a starting point. Be open to what your boss may counter-offer.
  • Suggest a trial basis. Offer a three-month testing period, to see how you both like the flextime scene.

Sources: Work Options, Inc.; Catalyst

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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