The best thing you can do if you want a flexible schedule is ask for it. Younger workers are finding more and more success when they ask, which should give everyone encouragement to request flextime if they want it.

Laurie Young is a founder of Flexible Resources, a company that specializes in finding flextime jobs for people, and she spends her days convincing employers to create innovative positions. You will probably have to do some convincing as well.

It makes sense: You’d never ask for a raise without presenting competitive salary analysis, and you should do the same when asking for flextime. Fortunately, there is a lot of research to present because many companies offer flextime, and it actually helps those companies because flextime is a cheap and effective tool to boost employee morale.

But keep in mind that flexible schedules aren’t available to people who get the job done. Flextime is generally only offered to overperformers. So be one.

3 replies
  1. Wendy
    Wendy says:

    I’ve recently agreed to a new position at a new company. One of the criteria for my accepting the position was flexible hours (the same flexible hours my present employer offered to get me back from mat leave).

    So, in a way, I had two companies competing for my services with flexible hours.

    Penelope’s right, some companies will use flexible hours and other creative compensation to attract and/or retain good people.

  2. Benjamin Strong
    Benjamin Strong says:

    As a government employee who worked through 9/11 (I was working in Washington, DC at a building evacuated for fear of a car bomb) and several hurricanes I cannot understand why more companies are not embracing flex time and telework. Technology almost makes it so an employee doesn't really need to go into the office.

    Daniel Pulliam, in a November 15, 2005 Government Executive Magazine article, describes how telework could save government workers thousands of dollars (Survey, Telework could save employees thousands).

    If you are a military veteran you know that teleworking can backfire, as described in an other Government Executive Magazine article by Daniel Pulliam published June 1, 2006 (Telework blamed in recent VA data loss).

    Despite some isolated cases (albeit big ones) I am a strong proponent of telework and flexible work hours. If employees are allowed to schedule their lives around their work they seem much happier. Happy employees mean I have a productive office.

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