How do you request a flexible working arrangement?

April 23, 2021

Over the past few weeks, a hot topic for employers and employees has been the position businesses are adopting around office-based vs remote (home) and flexible work arrangements. 

Google stated its position clearly as an ‘office-first’ employer which seemed at odds with the successful home-working practices that emerged over the past 12 months. Yet Anton Andryeyev of Twitter, who swapped his San Francisco office for a home office on the Hawaiian island of Kauai Twitter, were the first major U.S. company to make a public announcement about its permanent work-from-home.

We know so many women found juggling home chores, work and home-schooling a thankless task during the lockdown and, now that the cherubs are back in their face-to-face learning environment, we urge these women to press pause briefly and reflect on how they ‘want’ to work (or return to work) and what kind of work life balance is best for themselves and their families.

Are you facing a possible return to full-time office-based work? Perhaps you’re wondering how to broach the topic of home and/or flexible working arrangements with your employer.

 A recent poll of candidates in the 2to3days ‘sisterhood’ showed that an overwhelming 90% preferred a flexible blend of home and office working versus exclusively being home or exclusively being office based. Think about that!

 So, does the pandemic present you with an opportunity to have the conversation with your employer about flexible working? We say categorically yes…. Get on the front foot and do it!  Make the positive case for flexible days and a flexible home/office work arrangement that brings better productivity, employee satisfaction and reduced carbon footprint. We think it’s a no-brainer for any progressive employer and hearing it directly from you, will only strengthen that message.

 Here’s a few pointers to prepare you for tabling the topic of flexible work:

  • Check if your company has a flexible working hours policy, if they do, read, and understand what is on offer before making your formal request. If they do not have this, ask what their stance is.
  • You need to make a business case for flexible working. In some case, it may not be the best for your role, your employer may agree to a compromise. You need to think about what that might look like from your side, before agreeing or disagreeing – it is ok to say, 'I'd like to think about it!'
  • There is a Flexible Working Regulations Act that was introduced in 2014, so this would be something to read prior to putting in a request.
  • If you are making a request to work flexibly, you need to remember the above Act legally only covers you if you have worked for the employer for a minimum of 26 weeks. You must not have made another flexible working request in the past 12 months and you need to be legally classed as an employee.
  • Any formal request should be made in writing, your employer should set up a meeting for discussion around your request and any decision and reasoning from your employer should be in writing, this should be within 3 months of your request.

 And remember this too. If your employer won’t play ball, then 2to3days is packed with new and exciting flexible work opportunities with some of the UK’s most progressive employers across all industries. Sign-up as a 2to3days candidate and we hope you, like many other women, find the perfect flexible working role for you.

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