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Flexible Work Arrangement


When I wrote about the 5 pros and cons of telecommuting, I mentioned that it is not the right solution for everyone.

Does that mean you are stuck with the 9-5 routine at the office?

Not necessarily!

Flexible Schedule

Whether you don’t think telecommuting is right for you or maybe your employer is not open to the idea, you might want to investigate the possibility of a flexible schedule.

There are many different varieties of a flexible schedule, one of which is the compressed work week.

With a compressed work week, you will typically work four (or maybe even three) days per week but put in longer hours on each of those days. When I started working for my current employer, I negotiated to have a compressed work week. By coming in early and leaving a little later, I was able to avoid much of the rush-hour traffic and am able to take a day off during the week.

While I absolutely love having the compressed work week, you might be more interested in a different variety of a flexible schedule. Maybe you need someone home in the afternoon before the kids get home from school so you would like to start earlier in the morning in order to leave work in time to get home.

Take some time to examine your schedule and the needs of your family to see what type of flexible schedule might make the most sense for you.

Talk To Your Boss

Many people do not think a flexible schedule is an option but I encourage you to set aside some time to prepare your thoughts about why you want a flexible schedule and how you think it can benefit the company as well as yourself. Quite a few employers are trying to encourage work-life balance and are open to the idea of a flexible schedule.

Once you have prepared your thoughts, ask your manager for a little time to discuss the idea.

When you speak with your manager, you might want to approach it on a trial basis. Explain your thoughts to your manager and suggest that you give it a try for two or three weeks and then you can meet again to discuss how it is working. Chances are that once your idea is accepted, your boss will not see any reason why it will be a problem to continue on a permanent basis.

Stories of Flexibility

I’ve shared a little bit about my flexible schedule but as a recap, I work four days per week and take Wednesday off. In addition, I do have the flexibility of telecommuting when necessary.

Many people ask me why in the world I would take Wednesday off as opposed to taking Monday or Friday to give myself a long weekend every week. The reason that I take Wednesday off is because I never have to work more than two days before I get a day off and it is like I have two Fridays every week. Another benefit is that when I have to run errands during the day, there is much less traffic on a Wednesday than there would be on a Monday or Friday.

Now that you know a little bit about my schedule. I’d love to hear feedback on how you have arranged a flexible schedule, including if you are telecommuting on a regular basis. Please share your stories of flexibility!

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    On September 20th, 2007 at 3:28 pm, lornadoone said:

    My husband works a flexible schedule in his job for the State. He works four ten-hour days, Tuesday through Friday. Many of his coworkers wanted Fridays off, so it would have been tricky for him to be gone that day, too. Instead, he volunteered to take Mondays so that it balanced out other people’s schedules. He still gets three-day weekends. Working for the government means that he gets several Monday holidays each year (Labor Day, Memorial Day, etc.), and when these roll around, then he gets Tuesday off instead. Hello, four-day weekends!

    Of course, since I work from home, my Mondays tend to be a little less productive with my sweetie around to distract me. ;-)

    On September 20th, 2007 at 5:12 pm, Kelvin Kao said:

    I’m going to agree with Derek here. I’d rather have Wednesday off than Monday or Friday for the exact reason he gave.

    On September 20th, 2007 at 6:31 pm, Derek Semmler said:

    @Lorna :: Lol, I know how working from home can become more difficult when others are around. Over the summer my Wednesdays were not nearly as productive with my wife and kids home. That is great that he was able to get a day that works well for him and everyone else.

    @Kelvin :: Having the Wednesday off is fantastic. And when there is a holiday on a Monday, I will try to take a vacation day on Tuesday and end up with a 5-day weekend.

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