Flexible work arrangements are increasingly typical as technology facilitates things like remote and working flexible hours. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a guarantee that you’ll have a flexible work arrangement when you start a new job. In fact, it is a bit difficult and even risky to ask for a flexible work schedule during the application process.
Below are a few tips on how you should bring up a flexible work arrangement in your next application process
Do Your Homework
Prior to the interview, look for indications the company offers flexible scheduling. Review the company’s Careers section of their website and the official social media profiles to see if remote work and other flexible work arrangements are mentioned as an employee benefit. In-the-know employers know offering flexibility can be useful for recruitment and worker retention; and will promote it accordingly.
It’s also a good idea to confirm the employer’s actual practices by talking to current or past staff members. LinkedIn and employer review sites like Glassdoor are also good resources in this area.
If you can’t find anything about flexible work arrangements, the company probably doesn’t offer it.
If It’s a Deal Breaker
If a flexible arrangement is definitely a deal-breaker for you, then you should be upfront and share that as early as possible in the process.
Some people have a very particular personal situation that calls for flexibility, and if this is you, it’s best to share your requirements early on. It could feel a bit presumptuous to bring it up, but an employer would rather find out right away than later in the process, especially if a flexible arrangement isn’t possible.
In the Interview
A good time to ask about flexible work arrangements is during the second interview. Before bringing up the subject, ask questions regarding the business culture and its stance on employees’ work-life balance. In addition to listening to the reply you get, pay attention to mannerisms and tone of voice. These clues can provide you with a better sense of the possibility of a flexible work arrangement.
If a flexible arrangement is important to you, but not a deal-breaker, it can be included in your job offer negotiations. A good approach is to bring up flexibility after you’ve agreed on a starting salary if you’re able to talk about your personal history with a flexible work arrangement and how it made you more productive.
If job flexibility is one of those things you would like to have eventually but not necessarily right now, it could be a good idea to bring up the subject but then agree to a non-flexible arrangement. That enables you to build a relationship and trust as you work, along with learning more about the duties and demands of the job.
Those responsible for making such decisions can become more open to the idea as they see you put out a high level of work and build trust.
We Can Connect You to Flexible Work Opportunities
At ZDA, we regularly connect people to rewarding and flexible job opportunities. Please contact us today to learn more.