Making Your Case

Talk with Employees Who Have Successfully Negotiated Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA)

Find out how other employees presented their proposal, the format, etc. Did the employee have a negative experience? Did they involve coworkers? Use that information when developing your own FWA proposal. The Emory WorkLife Resource Center collects data on employees using flexible work arrangements. We can provide you with the contact information of an employee participating in a similar arrangement.

Sample Flexible Work Agreement

Contact the Emory WorkLife Resource Center

Contact the Emory WorkLife Resource Center for advice on how to effectively build and present your case. We can advise you about the feasibility of your proposal, assess the likelihood of your proposal being successful, and provide tips to make your case an effective one.

Make a Business Case for Workplace Flexibility

You should clearly explain how the benefits outweigh the costs.

  1. What is your argument? What problem are you addressing with your request?
  2. How do the benefits outweigh any perceived problems?
  3. How is your proposal in the best interests of Emory?
  4. What is the best way to approach your manager?
  5. Does he/she understand your perspective?
  6. Does  your manager respond better to a written proposal using hard data? 
  7. Does your manager prefer to discuss issues more informally and in person? 
  8. How can you best present the options for meeting your job responsibilities?
  9. Does your manager want to be in on the decision-making process or does he/she want you to come up with alternatives and solutions?
  10. How and when will the success of the arrangement be evaluated? We strongly suggest a trial period and agree on the criteria for evaluating whether the arrangement is working or not.
  11. Agree to a specific timeframe and build in a process for making improvements.

It is important you use the approach that best suits your manager’s style. Proper preparation and understanding of your manager’s style can be the difference between your proposal being accepted or rejected. We would argue that proper communication and developing a proposal that is conducive to your manager’s style are the keys to a successful flexibility proposal.

If your manager rejects your initial proposal, would a different flexibility arrangement work better? For instance, if your manager thinks using traditional flextime would create gaps in coverage or service, would he or she agree to a compressed workweek during a non-peak period, such as between semesters?

The business case for workplace flexibility is well documented through research. It is important for you to understand that workplace flexibility requires a partnership between you and your manager. FWA programs are not an entitlement, so you should be patient and flexible during your negotiations with your manager.

Develop a Communication Plan

Some managers are wary of flexible arrangements because he/she may not know how to reach an employee in their time of need. For example, if your manager receives an urgent request for a report, which is saved on your computer, he/she may be unable to access that information until you return to work. You should address this concern in your proposal and agree to acceptable terms as to how the manager can contact you, if needed.

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