Want your boss to say yes to –ex­itime?

Let CEOS Anna Auer­bach and An­nie Dean help you get that win.

Glamour (South Africa) - - Contents -

when An­nie Dean, 32, re­turned to her job as a cor­po­rate real es­tate lawyer af­ter hav­ing a baby, she hit a wall. “I had huge deals on my plate and a 10-month-old I never saw,” she says. “You think you can bal­ance it, but there is no way when the struc­tures aren’t set up for you to suc­ceed.” Af­ter she found a new job (and had an­other baby), the ques­tion of how to solve that prob­lem kept nag­ging at her. She con­nected with Anna Auer­bach, 35, a Har­vard grad­u­ate, for­mer man­age­ment con­sul­tant and mom, and to­gether they launched Werk (werk.co), a tech­nol­ogy com­pany that puts flex­i­bil­ity in­sights and data into the hands of com­pa­nies to help them work smarter. “Com­pa­nies say they have flex­i­bil­ity, peo­ple say they want it,” Anna told Bloomberg Busi­ness­week. “And yet no­body’s get­ting ac­cess to it.”

These trail­blaz­ers share the rules to find­ing a sane and suc­cess­ful sched­ule.

Flex­i­bil­ity shouldn’t in­volve a pay cut

Flex­i­bil­ity is any mod­i­fi­ca­tion to a full-time role that in­creases the com­pat­i­bil­ity be­tween the needs of an em­ployer and an em­ployee. If you’re per­form­ing a full-time role, just with a few mod­i­fi­ca­tions, whether it’s un­con­ven­tional hours or a work-from-home day, you shouldn’t be paid less.

Also, re­search shows that work­ers with flex­i­ble sched­ules are more pro­duc­tive and less likely to quit. They just work harder be­cause they’re hap­pier.

Make it all about the busi­ness

Self-re­flec­tion is step one; it helps you fig­ure out how you work best. Write down: What ob­jec­tives do I have? What do I need to do to reach them each day? Then po­si­tion flex­i­bil­ity as a busi­ness-first ne­go­ti­a­tion.

A busi­ness ex­ists to cre­ate value for all its share­hold­ers. So you have to sell it in a way that shows how your new sched­ule will in­crease their bot­tom line.

Don’t wait to have the con­ver­sa­tion once you’ve reached a cri­sis mo­ment. “I hid my preg­nancy un­til I was seven months. Then one day I was late to work be­cause I kept hav­ing to pull over to throw up. I was like, ‘I can’t hide this any­more.’ And I went to my boss cry­ing,” says An­nie.

Al­ways com­mu­ni­cate

Once you’ve fig­ured out how to mod­ify your hours, the bur­den is on you to over­com­mu­ni­cate. Send an end-of­day or end-of-week sum­mary of what you did. Con­stantly pro­vide feed­back; it’ll prove how good you are at your job and build a bet­ter cul­ture where peo­ple can rely on ar­range­ments like this.

Don’t let any­one ‘flexshame’ you!

There will al­ways be naysay­ers. Some­times you have to sit some­body down and be like, “I want to let you know why I’m do­ing this.” We need to have more con­ver­sa­tions about this, even if they make peo­ple un­com­fort­able. Plus, we need to make more poli­cies so they’re less mis­un­der­stood.

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