Tips for Going Flexible

June 1, 1996
Managers often are uncomfortable negotiating and supervising alternative work arrangements. Guidelines and examples of effective procedures help educate them about their benefits and help them negotiate terms and supervise effectively. Below are some practical tips.

Role of the Employee

  • Think through which option makes sense and whether that option provides the flexibility you need
  • Seek counsel from other individuals who areworking flexibly
  • Consider how the arrangement might impact your work and the work of your colleagues
  • Talk to your manager
  • Write your proposal
  • Iron out the details
  • Send a copy to the appropriate people
  • Communicate the new arrangement to appropriate co-workers
  • Evaluate the arrangement periodically with your manager

Role of the Manager

  • Address business needs
  • Assess department needs
  • Staff creatively
  • Consider each proposal on its own merits
  • Seek counsel from colleagues, especially those experienced with flexible work options
  • Ask for assistance or guidance from human resources
  • Be a coach
  • Communicate the new arrangement to other staff in the department
  • Monitor the arrangement

Role of the HR Manager

  • Identify internal issues and needs surrounding flexible work arrangements
  • Identify specific training needs
  • Resolve employee-manager conflicts
  • Serve as an internal resource
  • Communicate and advise on organizational guidelines

SOURCE: Catalyst

Personnel Journal, June 1996, Vol. 75, No. 6, p. 36.