Want your boss to say yes to exitime?
Let CEOS Anna Auerbach and Annie Dean help you get that win.
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.
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.