Caregivers benefit from flexible schedules
What if you could work a flexible or non-traditional schedule that would allow you to take better care of your job, your senior, and yourself?
Doctor’s appointments and a variety of emergencies can force you to take time off during the regular workday. It’s hard to juggle all that and do a fantastic job when the expectations are that you’re always at the office during normal hours.
Don’t assume it’s impossible
More and more companies are changing policies to make work more employee-friendly. Check your employee handbook, talk with human resources, and check with your co-workers to see if any other employees have flexible schedules.
2 keys to a successful discussion with your boss
If your company doesn’t already have flexible work policies, it may seem impossible to ask your boss to consider a flexible schedule. But if you approach them in a smart way, there’s a good chance your proposal will be seriously considered.
Key #1 – Remember, it’s not about you
It’s about how your new schedule will benefit the company, your boss, and your co-workers.
Key #2 – Prepare a written proposal
This helps you think through the discussion points and shows that you’re approaching this seriously and professionally. Keep it brief, but cover the details that will be relevant and important to your boss.
What’s in the written proposal
Your written proposal for a flexible schedule should include these 6 sections.
1. Why you’re requesting a modified schedule.
- Don’t get into the detail about your older adult, but cover the important points.
- Example: My mother is 86 years old and has dementia and heart disease. I manage her medical conditions and am responsible for her many doctor’s appointments. A 4 day work week will allow me to dedicate one day each week to doctor’s appointments and focus on work the rest of the week.
2. What type of schedule are you proposing?
- Suggest a schedule that would work for yourself and the company.
- Example 1: A modified schedule where you arrive and leave later so you can take your senior to an adult day program and miss the worst commute hours.
- Example 2: A compressed work week so you work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days. This leaves one day for doctor’s appointments and important errands.
3. How this benefits the company, your boss, and your co-workers.
- For people with a good reason to request changes, adjusting your schedule could allow you to work when you accomplish the most, reduce lateness and missed days, and reduce the risk that you’d have to quit just to care for your senior.
- Example 1: You’ll now be able to work productively for the 2 hours you used to spend stuck in traffic.
- Example 2: You’ll be less stressed and able to manage more complex projects with a clearer head.
- Example 3: You won’t take as many unexpected days off because your new schedule will allow you to create a more stable situation with your older adult and there will be fewer emergencies.
4. Get into relevant details.
- How will you maintain strong communications with your manager, customers, and coworkers?
- How will you get your work done and meet company goals?
- How will you and your manager regularly review the new schedule to see how well it’s working?
5. Offer a trial period.
- Rather than forcing them to make a yes/no commitment right away, this makes it more likely that you’ll at least get to test it out.
6. Ask about concerns.
- Make sure to ask what concerns they have about your proposed schedule. If you’ve done your homework and thought carefully through all these key points, you’ll likely have good responses.
This can benefit everyone
A flexible work schedule can work successfully for your company and you. Calmly make your case, reassure your boss that you’re still working toward their best interests, and find ways to measure the success of the new schedule. It also helps if you’re willing to compromise and emphasize that you know it’s your responsibility to make this work.
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff