Guest Blog: How to request flexible working

Wednesday 2 August 2017

Mandy Garner is the editor of , a jobs and community site for professional working mothers

mandyThe whole process of applying for flexible working can seem daunting and a survey out in July showed that 51% of employees think asking for flexible working will be viewed negatively by their employer. 

So how do you achieve a successful outcome to a flexible working request? One of the sticking points to get your employer to consider your case is that applicants must explain how you think flexible working might affect your employer and how this could be dealt with.

But how do you argue your case when the main reason you want to change your hours is because of childcare arrangements? 

Here are 9 top tips:

  • Put yourself in the employer’s position and have a solution in mind for any potential difficulties your request might bring. 
  • Be honest, for instance, if there are additional costs involved it is important to admit that and justify them.
  • Think through the tasks a job involves and whether they can be done differently, from a different location, at different times and so on. Be honest about addressing any additional challenges.
  • Show your work can successfully be carried out under any proposed new working pattern and demonstrate that it will not harm the business or may even have advantages!
  • Look up some case studies that show how the work pattern you are suggesting can work to both the employer and employee’s advantage.
  • If managers are undecided, it might be worth suggesting a trial period.
  • For part-time work, it is important to think through whether there are certain days or hours which need less cover.
  • For job shares, it is worth putting forward how this might work in terms of handovers, communication with team members and so forth
  • Have a compromise solution as a back-up!

For more detailed information about requesting flexible working, visit: