These days, more and more people are looking for flexible work, meaning an alternative to the typical 9-to-5 office scenario. For many, like you, workmom, it’s necessary to have flexible hours in order to take care of family and other responsibilities outside of work. But, of course many employers are less than eager to offer flexible schedules. While it may not be easy, it’s not impossible to secure a better schedule. Here, five tips to finding flexible work.
1. Embrace technology. When you can’t physically be in the office for meetings, let technology do it for you. If flexibility means not being in the office from 9-to-5, you need to be open to other ways your boss and co-workers can communicate with you, such as videoconferences and conference calls. Having a flexible schedule means coming up with creative ways to be a team player no matter where you are.
2. Look online. In many cases, flexible work involve telecommuting. What better way to find a flexible job then using your computer? Look for sites that specialize in flexible jobs, such as flexjobs.com.
3. Show your boss the benefits. Whether you’re looking for a new gig with flexible hours or want flexible hours at your current job, you need to show your boss how it will benefit her. Many bosses are not willing to give employees flex schedules because they’re afraid productivity will suffer. You need to show why flex is a win-win for everyone. For instance, make the case that saving your commute time means more time to devote to your work. Same goes for being closer to kid pick-up, etc. Show her how you'll stay connected and on call. You can even suggest a trial flex period so your manager can see how productive you can be before she commits to the plan.
4. Be open minded. Just because a job may not openly state flexible hours doesn’t mean it’s not possible. If you see a position you like that fits your skill set, you should still apply—and ask for flex. Employers may make exceptions if they really want you on their team.
5. Be dedicated and disciplined. A flexible job likely means not having to clock in at the office every day. But, it still requires discipline. Even the best employee may get distracted at home and employers need to know they can trust that the job will get done under non-traditional circumstances. With that being said, a flex job means different things to different people. Be sure you’re on the same page with your current (or potential) employer so both of you are happy with the results.