Nowadays, flexible working requests are flying in at a rate never seen before, and it’s no wonder why. Companies that fail to offer flexible working options to their employees will be the ones who likely miss out on top talent, have a higher turnover, and are probably not considered as the best places to work. For employees wondering how to make a successful flexible working request, everything you need to know to get your request approved is here. But first, let’s review what exactly is flexible working and the reasons employees are likely applying for it.
Flexible work comes in many shapes and forms and it varies with the type of remote and hybrid work environment in our organization. In its simplest form though, flexible working is a special work arrangement in which employees have some level of freedom and autonomy over their schedule, working hours, and/or location.
It’s your legal right! In 2002, legal mandates and employment law flexible working guidelines were introduced to cover caregivers. This has since expanded to other situations with the passing of another law in the flexible working act in 2014. More recently, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, employment rights act flexible working laws and guidelines have been set across the world. Each country and region have created their own laws around flexible working and the legal requirements around how to make a successful flexible working request.
For example, if you’ve just joined a company, you likely won’t be approved if you submit a flex-time request letter or a request to change working hours letter. In many countries, requests can only be made by employees who have been working with a company for 26 weeks or more.
Besides the fact it’s your right to request modifications to your hours or schedule, it’s also for your own personal benefit! There doesn’t need to be more reasons for applying for flexible working hours than that? When asked ‘why’ an employee is submitting a flexible working request, two of the main flexible working request reasons are:
Now that you know some of the most common reasons why employees submit a flexible working request, let’s dig into how to actually make the request.
Making a successful flexi time request letter starts with answering the question - How do you propose a flexible work schedule that will get approved? Here are the steps to take.👇
A non statutory flexible working request is an informal request, which doesn’t follow any particular rules set out by a flexible working law. In contrast, a statutory request is governed by laws on flexible working.
The main benefits to a non statutory request are:
When should you submit your request? Skip to #4 under - How to make a successful flexible working request that will get approved to find out.
Once you’ve made your request, you can expect to wait, on average, 3 months before your request is processed. In the case of a non statutory request for flexible working, the process for approval is usually much quicker.
If your request is approved, get it in writing! If your request is denied, you guessed it... get it in writing! Plus ensure they have provided specific reasons for the refusal of your request. This information will be necessary if you choose to appeal.
We’ve already gone over how to make a successful flexible working request, but what about how to ask to go part time? Although a request for part time hours is technically a type of flexible working request, asking to go part time at work follows a slightly different process.
In the case of going part time, your hours are changing quite substantially. With these situations, the first thing you should do before submitting a formal request is arranged to speak with your direct manager to find out whether a switch to part time is a possibility. Prior to the meeting, take the time to set up a flexible working meeting agenda that you can provide to your manager so they know what points you’d like to cover.
If you’re not sure how to start the conversation, put together a flexible working meeting script and rehearse what you want to say before. In the meeting, you’ll want to clearly communicate why you’re requesting change of hours at work and your plan for how to manage flexible working with your new schedule if approved.
You now know how to ask to go part time, but what about how to put together a change of hours request letter? This type of request is a letter asking for flexible working hours and, if you want to increase your likelihood that it’ll get approved, it’s best to work off an example letter asking for flexible hours rather than create your own.
Here are the steps to follow to get your flexible working request approved.
The first way to ensure a request won’t automatically be denied is by checking with the companies existing flexible working policy to see whether your request is within the possibilities of what can be offered.
Before submitting a flexible working form for a request for flexible working arrangements, make sure you understand your company’s thoughts around flexi work. And, if they have a flexible work arrangements policy, read it!
If you’re asking, do you have to give a reason for flexible working, the answer is yes! You’ll need a good reason, and you’ll need to be able to form a compelling case around it. The most effective request is one that convinces your employer that this new arrangement will benefit both of you. And, make sure you can explain how the arrangement will work successfully. Know the reasons behind our request and our motivation for making the request.
Working from a flexible working hours letter example to craft your request will ensure nothing is left out of your request.
Before doing this though, make sure you know what the company’s stance on flexible working is, especially if you’re just joining the team. The optimal time to bring up these types of requests will depend on your specific situation. Here are some examples of when to start the conversation about flexible working.
To do this, it’s best to set up a meeting to discuss your request instead of just sending in an e-application. Preparing to discuss your request with your employer, will allow you to more clearly communicate your ideal flexible work arrangement.
Just because you submit a flexible working request doesn’t mean that it will be approved. If this happens to be the case there’s no need to panic.
Follow these steps to find the best solution to get your request approved:
“Whilst flexible working is far more the norm, there are unfortunately still employers who refuse requests. Of course, it’s worth highlighting that it’s simply not possible for everyone to do it.”
The easiest way to create a request is by using a flexible working request letter template.
There are a few basic things that all flexible working requests should contain. It may seem obvious, but without these details, your request may not be given a second look. Knowing how to make a successful flexible working request all starts with including the following in your request.
In addition, if you are submitting a statutory request, you will also need to include:
Your company may already have a specific flexible working application example template you need to follow when submitting a request, but if not, you can use this flexible working request letter template as a guide. If you’re an employee making a flexi work request, remember, that the best way to ensure an approved request is by following the steps mentioned here on how to make a successful flexible working request that will actually be approved. And, if you’re an employer, be sure to provide your employees with the right guidelines to follow so they know exactly what they need to do when submitting their request.