Can You Get Flexible Work Hours This Summer?

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April 27, 2015

Wouldn’t you like to have a little more freedom during the summer months instead of looking wistfully out the window at the beautiful weather?  While the United States Department of Labor does not have an official policy regarding flexible work hours, it does state that the issue is between the employee and their employer. As such, you may find it worthwhile to broach the topic at your workplace if you feel comfortable with the management. Here are some suggestions to help make your plea more successful:

Do Your Research

Fortunately, this topic has been around for a while which means that there is substantial evidence floating around to support the benefits of a flexible schedule. This great article in Forbes not only details “How a Flexible Work Schedule Can Help You Strike a Balance” but it cites research and names big companies (including Kraft Foods and Texas Instruments) that have implemented the change successfully. Gather as much relevant, recent information as possible and then take the next step.

Talk to Management

Find a convenient time to speak with a supervisor about the possibility of bringing a flexible schedule to the workplace. If you anticipate resistance, consider offering to do some groundwork to make it happen. Provide them with your research, an overview of the benefits and offer to spearhead the project since you are the one making the request and they probably won’t want to add another task to their own summer to-do list. This will make it a lot tougher for them to say no.

Speak to Your Coworkers

Since your coworkers will be most affected by any changes in schedule, you will need to see how they feel about shifting things around. Are there any people who would flat-out refuse to make changes to their routine due to preferences or personal obligations? The more people you have on board, the easier it will be to come up with an alternative work schedule. Make sure, however, that you get everything they agree to in writing (via email, for example) so that there is no confusion down the road.

Come Up with a Schedule

In the U.S. News article “How Summer Hours Make Employees More Productive,” it is mentioned that every company will have to find a balance that works. Based on the feedback from your coworkers, come up with a revised, tentative schedule. Maybe it will be as simple as making every Friday a half day or giving employees the option to work remotely one day a week. Be willing to think outside of the box based on the specific needs of your coworkers and workplace and then come up with a few solutions for everyone to consider.

It can be really difficult to find the motivation to go to work during the carefree summer months but, with a little effort and cooperation at your workplace, things could be more tolerable. Have you ever had a schedule modified for summer?

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