Tuesday, February 19, 2019

How Will You Achieve the Flexibility You Need?

by Chelsea Wick
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In our first ‘Brand You’ webinar for 2019, our guest speaker Christina Smerdon, Chief Flex Enabler at Work180 shared her knowledge of flexibility in the workplace with the participants, and provided tips for how you can ask for and get more flexibility at work.

Christina emphasised firstly that flexible work is not simply the casualisation of the workforce, and that it isn’t only (or mostly) for women with small children. Many people across numerous industries and positions are wanting to work differently and achieve a personalised work/life balance.

Christina shared Work180’s guide to Negotiating Flexible Working Conditions which includes valuable advice on the options and approaches available when seeking to adopt flexible work practices.

WiBF members were advised to view flexible work arrangements through the lens of both the individual, as well as the employer and their team to achieve better outcomes for all: “Flex means more than the ratio of people working part time or alternative hours, but it is HOW we respect each other’s time and logistics that is also an important part of the practice.”

If you’re seeking to benefit from increased flexibility, Christina’s advice is to start by first considering what flexibility really means to you. Whether the arrangement is part-time, compressed hours, job-sharing, or working from home, the focus needs to be on how it would impact each party involved.

From there, she provided a three-step process that is sure to deliver results:

  1. Do your homework. Make sure you know what you want and get an idea of how open your employer may be to your proposal before you broach the subject.
  2. Have a plan. Try writing a one-page document explaining not only what you want but also how it would fit into the routine of the workplace and benefit your employer.
  3. Have the conversation. Do not bring up your request in passing or in the middle of the hallway with your boss. Set up and run a meeting so your proposal can happen at an appropriate time and place that is considerate of your boss and their schedule. 
In summary: have confidence, stand strong, and find your 10 seconds of courage needed to make a change in your working life.

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