Five Tips for Securing Flexible Working Hours

By Amy Prebble

Would you like to be able to work flexibly in your current role, but don’t know how to make that happen?  Here are five tips to help secure your manager’s agreement on a flexible role.

1. Know Your Rights

In New Zealand, all employees have the right to request flexible work arrangements. You can make this request for any reason, and it can be made from your first day of employment. Employers need to reply in writing within one month. They can refuse a request on certain grounds, but need to state the reason if declining your application. More information available here.

2. Look for a Win-Win

Start with requesting your ideal arrangement – your manager may say “yes“! Or they might suggest a less-rigid approach, such as agreeing that you can work from home, provided there are no client-facing meetings scheduled that day. You may be able to work four days a week, but be open to working extra hours during the peaks (e.g. end of the financial year if you are an accountant).

3. Suggest a Trial

Adopting a new way of working can be challenging for some managers.  A trial can be a great approach, as it provides an opportunity for your manager to see whether a new arrangement would work, without a long-term commitment. At the end of the trial, your manager will hopefully be comfortable with the new way of working and happy to continue.

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