The Flexibility Jigsaw
Fulfillment at work used to be focused on remuneration and career progression but as the millennials have enter the workforce in their millions the career jigsaw is changing. Flexibility is becoming an increasingly important part of the career matrix allowing for a more sustainable work-life balance. At the same time companies are increasingly aware of the benefits of having a more diverse workforce but are struggling to find the magic key to allow them to become more gender balanced. Colleagues already working for a company looking for a better work-life balance have two real choices; leave the corporate world or stay but try to get more flexibility.
Companies looking for a more diverse workforce need to ensure that they are not only recruiting diversely but also retaining diversity to create an inclusive executive pipeline. Flexible working is one of the main ways that companies can achieve this whilst also reducing the chance that parents will self-select out of the corporate workforce.
Reduce the possibility of self-selection by understanding your flexibility puzzle
I have worked part-time for over 12 years and in that time I have mentored quite a few women to achieve a better work-life balance. At the point they come to me they have successfully determined the because of their flexible working request but are unclear how to build the business case for flexible working and this is where many people start to stumble.
Your identified need to take care of your toddler a few days per week, to work from home one day per week to reduce down a long commute or a desire to change your work day hours to allow you to access further learning are all valid reasons to ask for flexible working but they are not the reason that a company will accept your request. An organisation focuses on the impact of your request first and foremost and in order to submit a strong and valid request you too should start here as well.
By starting with the impact, you not only put yourself in the mindset of the employer from the start but you could also widen your flexibility options. In determining the impact there are three key questions you could consider;
What does your day to day role look like?
Who are your key stakeholders (internal and external)?
Who are your potential allies and detractors?
Please subscribe to my mailing list to find out how to use the answers to these three questions to find your optimal flexible working arrangement. By following my step by step guide you will be a much better place to have your flexibility request met.