Although most employers are embracing the idea of flexible working for their employees (it is 2016 after all), there are still a few who aren’t quite convinced. If it would help you out to be able to work flexibly, it might be in your best interests to try and convince them otherwise.
With so much data on how flexible working has increased productivity, it shouldn’t be hard to put together a flexible working sales pitch to win over your boss. However, it always helps to know what you’re up against. Here are five common misconceptions about flexible working, and how you can tackle them as an employee.
“Flexible working = lounging around at home”
As soon as the words ‘flexible working’ leave your mouth, it’s possible that your boss will become incapable of speech and their eyes will gloss over, as an image of you making casual phone calls at home with a coffee in hand and a cat on your knee springs to mind.
Quash these symptoms by explaining where you’ll be working from and why. Home might work for you, but keep your boss at ease by calmly telling them if you’ll have an office, when you expect to work and if you want to keep the same hours. The more you disclose about what you hope to achieve by not being in the office, the more understanding your boss is likely to be.
“Only a viable option for parents“
Flexible working is a great alternative for parents who are running round after tiny people, yielding toothbrushes and pyjamas in hopes of tackling their children them into a peaceful sleep. They’re able to tailor their work around family life, which is a great way of balancing both aspects of their lives.
But just because flexible working works so well for parents, doesn’t mean it should be exclusive to them. There are plenty of reasons why flexible working can work for anyone, and if your employers only offer it to parents, you need to fight your corner.
Until June 2014, only parents had the right to request flexible working. For the last two years that right has been open to everyone, so make sure your employer is aware!
“You’ll do less work”
The general consensus on flexible working is that you’re not going to be working the same hours as your office working colleagues. While the flexible working does mean you have a better work/home balance, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re working different hours.
More than 50% of UK workers saying they’d work the same hours if they were able to work from home in a report by Powwownow. Rather than being an excuse for making up your own hours, flexible working is about creating a better balance between work and home, as well as being able to avoid everyday stresses, such as the dreaded commute.
Flexible workers are also more likely to be rated on their performance rather than the amount of time they spend at the office, so they often get more work done than their colleagues.
“It’s pretty much a day off”
Employers might worry that you’ll be inclined to consider your flexible working day as a day off. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, encourage employers to check up on you.
They can track your progress at the end of each day by asking you to send over everything you’ve done, or by asking you to complete a daily work blog where you list your completed tasks. If your employer requests this, don’t be offended. You can use this as an opportunity to show them how your productivity has increased with flexible working.
“The employee be lonely and won’t interact with colleagues”
Working at home does mean you can’t enjoy the chit-chat when making a cup of tea, or join in with the good-old office tomfoolery, but that doesn’t mean you’ll lose your social life altogether.
Flexible working doesn’t have to be five days a week, so you can still catch up on all the office drama. As well as this, you also have the opportunity to meet a whole new set of people. Try out a coworking space or a hotdesk if you want to network and meet like-minded people.
Are you guilty of believing the misconceptions of flexible working? Leave your comments in the section below!
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