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Who doesn’t get the most work done with their pants off? When you’re at home, able to brew your favorite cup of coffee, sitting on your own couch and feeling comfortable?
Not only are you physically comfortable when you work at home, you’re mentally comfortable, too. You don’t feel that pressure of a boss looking over your shoulder or having to show up in the office before you’re really awake—factors that stop us from feeling free, ultimately killing our creativity.
Employers are starting to realize the benefits of allowing employees to work on their own time, when they’re most inspired, motivated, comfortable, and able to think and problem-solve creatively. That’s why for some companies, flextime is becoming the route to increasing productivity and employee happiness.
Other workplaces are slower to adapt. If that describes your workplace, and you feel you’d be more productive working your own hours in your own home, read on for some tips and tricks to help your work and life move in that direction.
First, ask yourself these questions:
1. Does your position allow you to work from home? Flextime might not be a good option if you’re in a client-facing role where you need to be in the office for client interaction or frequent meetings.
2. Do you like your job enough to stay focused on work even when you’re not in the office? Do you have the discipline to work on your own?
3. Where and when do you think best and come up with your most creative ideas? For a lot of people, that may actually be in the office with varied hours.
Selling the idea to your boss
Once you’ve answered the questions above and determined that yes, you would work better at home and on your own schedule, you can start selling the idea to your boss:
- Schedule a time when you can present a flextime execution proposal that should include why you think you would be more productive working different hours and working some days from home, when you would be working, why your position allows you to work from home, and why your responsibilities do not require you to be in the office all day.
- Also present a case showing that you have the technological capabilities to work from home, such as Skype, a PC with Internet access, scanner, etc.
- Provide examples of the stellar work that you have done for the company. This will prove to show that you are dedicated to your position, motivated, and really care about your job.
Other action items that will help you succeed
- Create a working environment for yourself where you can constructively, positively and actively think about and brainstorm for your job. That might mean creating a home office or finding the best café in your neighborhood.
- Do work when you feel inspired. Wherever and whenever you feel motivated, take a seat, write it down and start working on it as soon as you get a chance.
- Hang out with friends who are in your industry so you can brainstorm and toss ideas around in an environment where you’re relaxed and most likely to get your creative juices flowing.
- Buy a planner and schedule your tasks to ensure that you cover all your bases. Don’t plan for the day, but create a work outline for your week.
Shifting from 9-to-5 to flextime is a long-term process that rests on building trust with your employer and excelling in your role. Once you’ve proven you’re excited by your work and committed to your company, your employer will be more likely to seriously consider the option.
Just don’t forget to put your pants on when you’re back in the office.
Andrea Chester is an Associate Manager at Partners-International, an human resources consulting firm. She focuses on leadership, work/life balance, and women in the workplace. You can follow Andrea @Partners_Intl.