5 Ways to Ask Your Boss for More Flexibility at Work

Viewed in Fast Company

The pandemic has proven immensely tumultuous to the traditional work environment, leading that environment to often be anything but traditional as we begin 2021.

The biggest change is the vast emergence of work from home trends and the associated challenges of keeping businesses moving with employees decentralized and facing the new promises and challenges of working from home.

Half of employees want to work from home part or full-time

A survey by Steelcase, an architecture, furniture and technology product company, found that slightly over half of employees (54 percent) want to work from home part or full-time.

Whether working from home or the office, employees are finding that the pandemic is presenting new challenges and stresses that have increased the need to ask for flexibility in traditional work terms.

But what is the right way to go about making such requests? In this Fast Company article, sociologist and author Tracy Brower details five factors deserving consideration.

Give to get

First, she writes,perform exceptionally. “We give to get” is the reality of the reciprocal work relationship, which means that top-performing employees will find themselves on stronger footing if they are performing at high standards when they request flexible work terms.

Be specific and considerate

Specificity is also important. Also consider the potential impact on your broader team. “Remember anything you ask for yourself will have a domino effect on your colleagues and their work—so be considerate and ensure you’re not unintentionally putting additional pressure on your teammates,” she writes.

Be transparent

With flexible work terms in place, be sure to place a special emphasis on communication. “Be sure you’re transparent with your manager and your team members, keep them abreast on what you’re working on,” Brower suggests.

Be reasonable

And, finally, reasonableness is important. “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should,” she writes. Staying visible with colleagues and bosses remains essential even in the midst of this unexpected global health crisis.

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