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Step 1:
Ask your employer if policies exist around flexible work arrangements in your workplace. If so, confirm what process will need to be followed to request a flexible work arrangement.
Step 2::
Let your manager know that you would like to explore flexible work arrangements available to you, and explain that you will submitting a proposal that outlines your ideas.
Step 3: Review your core job tasks and responsibilities. Consider how your job could be redesigned to accommodate a flexible work arrangement.
Propose at least two alternate flexible work arrangements you think would be feasible. Identify and outline the benefits of solutions you are proposing and how you will address any potential downsides.
If appropriate at this stage, ask your manager for input and ideas. Keeping your manager in the loop makes it an inclusive process. Remember, negotiating flexibility means that both parties will need to compromise.

Types of questions you need to ask and address in your proposal would include:

Days/Hours and where you would like to work
Detail how you envisage the flexible work arrangement working
How your current job tasks and responsibilities will be impacted
The benefits that will be achieved by working flexibility
How the downsides can be minimised
What support and technology will be required to make it work
Step 4:
Once you have considered all your options, formalise your plan in writing and arrange a meeting with your manager to discuss and negotiate your Flexible work proposal. Be realistic about your expectations and acknowledge the issues you and your manager face. To start the negotiation conversation, seek an appropriate meeting time with your employer to discuss the matter. Explain the topic you wish to discuss to remove the element of surprise - this also allows your employer to prepare for the meeting.
Step 5:
During the discussion explain your situation and needs. Proactively ask questions to clarify the needs and initial concerns of your employer. Focus on solving any problems that have been raised by your manager. Consider ALL the options by brainstorming as many ideas and alternatives as possible. Create a shortlist of the most mutually agreeable options. Work with your employer in partnership to try and help one another achieve a win/win outcome.
Be prepared to 'give way' or 'give up' some points. If you approach the conversation with a positive conciliatory attitude and show that you are prepared to be flexible, your employer is more than likely to respond in the same manner.
Don't be afraid to stand your ground on your important needs or critical issues. An unsatisfactory outcome is only unlikely to unravel or fail later on. If you are having trouble reaching the 'right' outcome or solution, suggest to your employer that you agree to a 'trial arrangement' and review this after a period of time, e.g. 3 months, to see what's working and what could be arranged differently.
Agree next steps even if you haven't reached a firm conclusion so you can continue the conversation at a later stage.
For help and more info contact mums@work 02 9967 8377 or

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