How to Get the Flexible Work Schedule You Deserve

Thrive Global

Jennifer Gefsky, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York office, co-authored an article in Thrive Global, titled “How to Get the Flexible Work Schedule You Deserve.”

Following is an excerpt:

With forward-thinking companies understanding the need for cultural workplace reform, now is the perfect time to pitch for a more accommodating schedule. There is no one definition to flexibility. It means different things to different people. It can simply be coming in earlier and leaving earlier; or working from home one day a week. It can mean full telecommuting or a compressed workweek (forty hours in four days).

With so many options available, first consider how your ideal week would unfold. Do you prefer to work from home one day a week or work only four days a week? Is it a shift in hours (coming in early, leaving early) or the ability to be home for dinner one day a week? And think about why you need or want flexibility. Maybe it’s to avoid a long, unproductive commute. Maybe you really want to be able to drop your kids off at school once a week.

Think about the cadence of your work (are Mondays particularly busy?, are there all-hands meetings on other days?) and your family’s particular habits (car-pool needs are out of control on Wednesdays) to figure out what’s a good solution. Having a clear objective and the confidence to ask for what you want will ensure your ability to negotiate.

“I wish all employers, including my most recent past employer, would be more flexible with working parents, recognizing they often need to be in two places at once,” says Lauren, a fundraising manager. “And flexibility allows workers to get more done, too.” We live in a modern age, with technology, so working remotely is a very good option to offer, support, and even encourage—it allows workers some flexibility that day with their children (pickup/drop-off) and even allows them time to get more done without the distractions of coworkers or the workplace. …

Excerpted from Your Turn: Careers, Kids, and Comebacks — A Working Mother’s Guide by Jennifer Gefsky and Stacey Delo with permission from the authors and publisher.