March 29, 2016 / Published 7:00 AM EST / Brittany Kubicz
Want a better work-life balance? Consider these flexible options
No matter what you call it: work-life balance, integration, or equilibrium, many of us are looking for ways to achieve “it”. In addition to these tips, have you ever considered having the ability to work from your home office, having flexible work hours, or job sharing? These are popular trends popping up across all industries. A survey by Flex Jobs found that 85% of millennials would prefer to telecommute full-time and seek flexible work options for more work-life balance1. Companies are taking notice of the demand for these options and are adopting programs and policies to help their current employees and attract new top-talent.
Here’s an overview of how it can be a win-win-win for you, your employer, and the environment!
How you can benefit:
- Improve your work-life balance by scheduling your day around your priorities and have more time to spend with your family
- It’s great for the planet – you reduce pollution by commuting less and decreasing your carbon footprint
- It will save money on gas and public transit
- It will improve your health because you will have more time to exercise. 97% of respondents in a FlexJob survey said that a job with flexibility would positively impact their overall quality of life
- By shaving hours off of your commute, you’ll be more productive and get more done
How your employer will benefit:
- It’s easier to work globally and it reduces the challenge of working across time zones
- Companies will save on space and operational costs
- Employee productivity is increased because they spend less time commuting. According to a study by Marin Telework Initiative, telecommuting can result in a 10-20% increase in productivity.
- It has become a necessity to attract and retain the best talent. There is also access to a larger talent pool that is not restricted by geography
- Happier employees = less turnover. A Cornell University study found that organizations that gave employees a choice of when and where to work had one-third the turnover rate compared with less flexible firms
- Your employees will experience fewer sick days due to illness because working from home reduces stress2
These are great benefits, but what if your employer hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon yet? Firstly, it’s important to always be clear, open and honest about your needs. Here are some things to consider when talking to your employer about transitioning to a more flexible work option.
Does it make sense for your position? If your role requires you to have a lot of face-to-face conversations with co-workers or clients, working from your home office may not be the best option for you. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other flexible work options that you can implement that better fit with your role! Be sure that what you suggest ties well into the expectations your employer has for you. When presenting the idea position it in a way that proves that having more flexibility will improve your ability to reach your career goals for the year.
Consider the value-add. You already know how you will benefit from a more flexible work option, but your manager might need a bit more convincing. Illustrate how it will be a win-win for both sides and that there is value added to allowing you to make the transition.
Give it a try. It might be beneficial to do a trial run and test it out for a short period of time. This will help address any challenges you might face early on and work out all the kinks. Your employer will also be able to see the benefits and see if it will be a good fit.
Plan it out. Approach your manager with a well thought out strategic plan. Discuss how you will overcome any technology or communication issues by using WebEx, Skype, phone calls, email or IM to remain reachable during work hours. Take it a step further and recognize any problems that might occur and how you will solve them before they happen.
If you’re looking for similar tips like these check out our post on 7 ways to stay connected when you’re working from home.