New year, new schedule

It’s a new year. Are you thinking about improving your work/life balance? These days there are a lot of options when it comes to flexible work arrangements. Before you propose anything to your employer, you need to have a clear picture of what you want and how you propose to maintain productivity and high performance. The key is not to focus solely on you. Attempt not to use the words  “I” and “me” during these conversations. You want to convince your boss that it’s in their best interest and that you’ve considered how it will work for them. “We” is the mindset you need to have and term to use as you have these discussions. They won’t be as interested in the “why I want to do this” as the “how I plan to maximize my time.” Here are some options and how to prepare to present them to your employer:

- Working from home. It’s more than likely that your company will not approve working from home full-time if your job requires you to be in the office for meetings and face-to-face interaction. However, you may consider asking to work from home one day per week or one day every other week. Provide your boss with specific information about your office at home to assure him/her that you will be available whenever necessary despite being in a different location.

- Part-time. If you want to scale down your hours, you should have a feasible written proposal prepared to present to your boss. It should include your desired schedule and how you will fulfill your tasks without compromising work quality or creating more work for others. I recommend stating that you will be available for important meetings, even outside of your timeframe proposed as long as that is true.

In all cases, you should have an alternative option that would also work for you and your employer.