By May 16, 2014 Read More →

Building a case for flexible working

Tips to make your case for flexible working successful

A case for flexible working - Andrew Millard, CitrixThis Friday more UK employees than usual

will opt out of the daily commute to work from home

to mark National Work from Home Day.

This year is more significant than ever

as from June 30th any employee who has been with their organisation for more than 26 weeks

has the right to request flexible working,

opening up the possibility of a better work / life balance for millions.

It might be starting early and finishing late every day to take the kids to school or working from home on a Friday to get ahead of rush-hour for weekends away. In many cases, employees will need to make a formal request for flexible working.

Andrew Millard is Sr. Director Marketing – International for the SaaS division at Citrix, whose apps and online services support flexible working. In today’s timely guest post he provides five tips for employees wanting to take advantage of the change in legislation and build a case for flexible working.

1. Be accountable
Business disruption is a key concern for employers considering a flexible working arrangement. Be as clear as possible about when and from where you will be working from during the average working week.

Sit down and talk things through with those you work closest with and give them the opportunity to agree how to handle any changes to working processes, like reports or meetings.

First thing every Monday morning, let your boss and your team know your whereabouts for the week ahead and how you can be contacted. If anything changes let everyone know as soon as possible.

2. Do talk about productivity
Many a flexible worker has been met with tongue in cheek comments from co-workers about slacking off. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. A 2013 Regus survey found that 75% of business respondents agreed that flexible working actually increased employee productivity.

Those employees that already do will testify that working flexibly means you quickly become more responsible for managing your time and workload. The theory is great but it’s easier to talk to your employer about the more practical benefits – start with the potential for extra work delivery through reduced commuting times.

3. Highlight happiness
A 2014 survey from online jobs site, CareerBuilder, showed employees care more about flexible working than recognition when it comes to things employers can do to retain them (53% vs. 50%).

Working from home once a week or dropping the kids at school each morning before heading into work can make a huge difference to your life but, once again, there’s a practical element involved.

Switching to working from home once a week can translate into significant travel savings across the year and more money in your pocket. Something all employers should care about.

4. Talk up your technology
So, you want to leave early on a Wednesday for football practice or work from home on Friday to make a quick getaway for weekends away. You need to prove to your manager that you’ve got the technology to work as if you’re in the office, or make the request as part of your application.

Mobile email means you can still pick up any urgent work requests on your way to the football. Video conferencing apps, like Citrix’s GoToMeeting, mean you can attend meetings, whether formal or informal, on Friday.

Whatever your profession, you’ll find an array of cloud-based apps and services out there, from file storage and editing to complete team collaboration platforms, to support you in working more flexibly.

5. Do it by the book
Expect the Government to update its flexible working application guidance and provide a new template form on June 30th.

Don’t forget that your employer will still have the right to refuse an application if they can prove it will have a detrimental effect on their business.

If you’ve followed the advice above then you’ll hopefully have proven it won’t, but it will do no harm to follow the correct process. You can find everything here to make your case for flexible working – https://www.gov.uk/flexible-working/making-a-statutory-application

Posted in: Routine

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