Have you been working from home as a result of COVID-19? It’s very different from going into the workplace every day, isn’t it?
Some people like it. Some do not.
For some, it has given them a taste of what it’s like to work for themselves to be their own boss. Others have had their eyes opened to how much they’re missing every day by leaving their home as the sun is rising and returning when the sun is setting, day in and day out.
Often, the hours your workplace demands from your day interfere with your personal life to the point where you feel that you never have any free time. Or the demands surrounding your job, including travel time to and from, rob you of time with your family.
You’re probably wondering why you never noticed it before. Or you may have only now come to appreciate just how much of your day is connected with making a living.
Now you’re asking yourself how do you go back to what appeared to be ‘normal’ before this forced interruption? You like your job and feel you’d like to return but, how? Do you have options?
Asking For Flex Time
You may feel that you could never ask your employer or immediate boss to allow you to create a flexible schedule. They’ve never done it before. Why should they do it for you? You may, therefore, be reluctant to approach your employer/supervisor about creating an alternative flexible schedule, rather than an 8:00 am – 5:00 pm schedule.
According to the Society for Human Resource Managers noted that “The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has placed flexible work arrangements, especially telework, in the spotlight. With many states issuing stay-at-home orders and allowing only essential businesses to keep their physical locations open, unprepared employers were forced to implement flexible work options on the fly.”
The article noted that even after social distancing has been lifted, the new normal may be that more employees will be requesting a more flexible schedule and the opportunity to work from home as a remote worker.
Thus, you’re not alone.
You could start by respectfully asking if he or she would consider allowing you to continue working from home or changing your hours to allow for more time in the evenings with your children.
If you’ve been working from home during the pandemic, carefully think of the benefits and bring these to the attention of your employer or supervisor. Discuss the benefits to your employer and you.
Don’t be afraid to do this if it means a lot to you.
My eldest daughter was allowed to go into work at 6:30 am every day for several years and got to leave at 2:00 pm. It was not always easy, especially in colder months to leave home at 5:50 every morning. It was not easy during two pregnancies.
But…it allowed her to pick up her children from day-care and as they got older, from school. It allowed her to spend quality time with them before bedtime or help them with homework. She felt a lot less stressed.
Now those hours may not be possible for your job, even if you were willing, yet if your employer is agreeable, you can both discuss ideas that will work within the parameters of the company.
Many companies would be open to employees working a flexible schedule, but very few employees think to ask out of fear that their boss could get upset or may dismiss the idea as being impossible. At the same time, organizations may not have given this serious thought either before because they were not required to do so before.
You might even be able to work from home full time. Do some research and see if there’s an option to do your work from home on a computer, and ask your boss if they would be okay with letting you do that.
Approach them with a plan in place for productivity and even offer a trial run of the situation to prove yourself.
Could your request be the catalyst for causing change within the organization? In fact,
many companies could find that they have a more productive group of employees if they decide to give flexible work hours a try or allow employees to work part-time or full-time from home.
According to SHRM.org here are some benefits flexible work arrangements offer to both employers and employees:
- Assisting in recruiting efforts.
- Enhancing worker morale.
- Managing employee attendance and reducing absenteeism.
- Improving the retention of good workers.
- Boosting productivity.
- Creating a better work/life balance for workers.
- Minimizing the harmful impact on global ecology. Certain flexible work arrangements can contribute to sustainability efforts by reducing carbon emissions and workplace "footprints" in terms of the creation of new office buildings.
- Allowing for business continuity during emergency circumstances such as a weather disaster or pandemic.
So, after considering this article, how do you feel? Do you feel a little more confident at the prospect of speaking with your employer about allowing you to work flexible hours, or even work from home?
How will you make sure that this is a benefit to you and your family? Will you use it to spend more quality time with your family? Will you work on the steps to achieving the big vision you have for your life?
I encourage you to be bold. You’ll never know unless you ask.