If you believe you need to modify the way you work in order to better balance your life on and off the job, it is a good idea to think more specifically about what that might mean and how to accomplish it.
How Do I Know What is Available for Me at URI?
Understanding what flexible work arrangements URI or your department/division/union contract can offer is important. Not all employees have the same options, so it is important to understand what is and is not available to you. Information on what is available to specific employee groups at URI can be found on the Workplace Flexibility page and the Taking Time Off page.
How Do I Assess My Work-Life Needs? How Do I Ask My Supervisor For a Flexible Work Arrangement?
Assess your needs and the impacts of a request. Assessing your need for flexibility, what your work style is, what type of alternative work arrangement would best fit the type of job you have, what the variety of impacts this change would have on you, your job, your family, your co-workers, your supervisor, and the organization, etc., should all be considered.
It is up to you, not your supervisor. While it is important that supervisors are open, receptive, and flexible when considering requests, it requires a collaborative effort to identify reasonable, allowable, and mutually beneficial solutions. Also, it is unlikely that your supervisor will initiate a dialogue about a possible alternative work arrangement when your personal circumstances change, and so it is up to you, not your employer, to do so and to identify possible solutions.
Keys to a Successful Alternative Work Arrangement Proposal
Once you have assessed your situation, considered possible alternatives, made your case, considering the costs and benefits to both you and the organization, you should develop a proposal to present to your supervisor. Consider the following when developing your proposal:
- Is your job suitable?
- Is your work style conducive to your proposed arrangement?
- Think through the details.
- Talk with other employees who have participated in an alternative work arrangement.
- Make your business case. What are the cost/benefits?
- Partner with your manager.
- Understand your manager’s style.
- Develop a communication plan.
There are several excellent online resources for helping you through this process:
Corporate Voices for Working Families offers an excellent and concise, step-by-step set of guidelines for hourly employees (and useful for anyone): Guide for Implementing Flexibility With an Hourly and Nonexempt Workforce
Emory University. Emory University’s WorkLife Resource Center offers thorough guidelines and sample forms that cover:
- assessing your situation
- creating solutions
- making your case
- developing a successful AWA proposal
- developing a communication plan
Families and Work Institute offers:
World at Work offers:
Alliance for Work-Life Progress offers:
Also see: Work + Life: Finding the Fit That’s Right for You, by Cali Williams Yost. This is a 3-step guide to combining work and life strategically, creatively, and effectively.