How to Negotiate Flexibility Into a New Job

How to Negotiate Flexibility into a Job

How to Negotiate Flexibility into a Job

Posted on August 2022 By Madeline Rowston

How to Negotiate Flexibility Into a New Job

​When salary negotiations wane due to economic downturn, more flexibility is a great alternative.

Flexible work is the new norm. It's expected by employees and new hires. So how can you negotiate more flexibility into a new role?

Have a clear understanding of what flexible means to you.

Individualised flexibility is essential. Whether you want to work unconventional hours to spend time with your children, work more from home or have reduced hours, know the types of flexibility that can help you achieve this.

There are six distinct types of flexible work which Werklabs have defined as:

1. Unconventional Hours. Employees can work the hours that suit them. For instance, two blocks from 9-2 and 6-8 to attend caring responsibilities.

2. Minimal Travel. Employees have very little work related travel.

3. Freedom to Adapt. Be agile throughout your week and step away from work when the unexpected happens.

4. Location Independence. Work where you best.

5. Location Variety. AKA Hybrid work.

6. Part-Time. Reduce your workload. You may even negotiate this if a salary increase is not an option e.g. 4 day work week or 9 day fortnight.

Set Expectations and Outcomes.

Being upfront about your commitments outside work or health needs can be daunting for job seekers.

Our client-side Consultant, Hilary Williams, suggests it's better to "be honest in terms of what you need and expect."

Transparency during the interview process will actually help you find the organisation that suits your values and lifestyle the best. Better to find out sooner rather than later.

Do keep in mind requests should be reasonable. Be conscious work arrangements should follow company policy, the nature of the role and other team members. It would be inconsiderate to request to work remotely in a permanent position if the entire organisation follow a 3:2 hybrid work policy.

Be specific about what your flexible work arrangement will look like, be managed and how it is advantageous.

Flexibility Works Both Ways.

Prioritisation of employee wellbeing and family commitments is essential for many job seekers. So make sure you're clear about the role you're looking for. Are you happy to give up working from home an extra day a week for the right role? Or is this a firm boundary?

Hilary suggests it's "about you being flexible as much as them."

Many companies are trying to get back to normality and build office culture through compulsory office days and hybrid work policies. So be conscious of the importance of this too.

Be clear to hiring managers and recruiters what company culture and work policies would suit you best and how you can be flexible too.

If you're successful in negotiating a 4day work week or flexible hours this could be reviewed after your probation period.

All in all, make clear goals and communicate them on your job search.

Fair Work also have guidelines as to the legalities around flexible work requests and what is considered reasonable.

This article was inspired by HBR.