Research from Digital Mums suggests 7 in 10 UK employees want flexible work, but more than half worry it would be viewed negatively by their employer. We asked co-founder Nikki Cochrane (pictured above) how to ask your boss for flex…

1 Softly, softly
Before you make an official request (something you can do annually) suggest a three-to-six-month trial. Your boss is more likely to say yes as it’s not such a big leap. Set out clearly how and when you plan to work to help mitigate any fears.

2 Put the business first
Your request is more likely to be successful if you show the positives for the business. Put yourself in your boss’s shoes and think about concerns such as how you would be more productive working different hours, whether it would lower costs and save time commuting.

3 Be specific
Don’t just ask for ‘flexible working’. Put forward a specific arrangement that would work best for all. Consider options like compressed hours, working part-time, different start times or working remotely – be prepared to compromise.

4 Be visible
Your boss may ask how they will know you are working, so suggest using digital tools like Slack and Trello to stay in touch, reporting clear deliverables on a weekly basis or sharing to-do lists. 

5 Don’t apologise
As well as legally having every right to request flex, being confident and unapologetic goes a long way. Present a clear case with all the benefits and don’t use negative language. Consider showing case studies of other companies that are making it work.

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