How to negotiate flexible working


flexible workingCongratulations! You have secured a job offer but now you want to understand more about the company’s flexible working policy without it costing you the job. If you are approaching this conversation for the first time, you will need to learn how to prepare for a successful negotiation.

Here are 6 simple steps to negotiating flexible working conditions:

Be positive

Convey your enthusiasm for the job offer immediately by saying ‘thank you’. By doing so, you are going to reinforce their confidence in the decision they have just made. You don’t have to accept the offer there and then, ask for a copy of the offer in writing including the contract terms.

Review the job offer

If the contract references the company’s policy to flexible working, you have a starting point to explore further. If not, refer to the original job advertisement. Was the position advertised as part time or ‘offers flexible working’? If there is any indication of this in either the contract or the advert, the discussion may begin more organically. Flexible working forms part of your overall package, so you may need to sacrifice other aspects of the offer in order to secure what you need.

What’s in it for them?

Yes, it’s your job offer, so your initial reaction could be what’s in it for me? However, if you haven’t been offered flexible working as part of the offer, it is essential you look at it from the company’s perspective and consider what’s in it for them? How will they benefit from making these changes? Whilst more companies are embracing flexible working, they are not obliged to offer it to new employees. How working flexibly add further value to the role you are in? Staff retention, reduced absenteeism, cost savings are just a few benefits company’s gain from offering flexible working.

Provide them with a solution

If you have worked flexibly before, this conversation may feel easier as you can demonstrate the impact it had, not only to your role but to the company too. By working flexibly are you able to work earlier or later in the day when suppliers may want to speak with you? Will working remotely reduce your commute time so ultimately, they will get ‘more for their money’? As Rio IT have discovered, "77% of remote workers are more productive than when they worked in an office. Not only do remote workers complete more tasks when working remotely, but they are also faster than they are in the office." Could you change your flexible needs to meet the demands of the business during peak times/seasonal dates?

Be confident

It’s not about what you say, it’s the way that you say it. You don’t to provide a detailed overview of why you are for asking for flexible working, however, providing your potential employer with some details may support your pitch. So be clear, concise and to the point. Its all about the delivery. If you plan what you want to say and expect to be challenged, you will be armed ready with your solutions. Practise your pitch out loud or record yourself so you can evaluate yourself and feel confident ahead of your conversation.

Manage your expectations

You may reach a stalemate so you will need to determine if flexible working isn’t granted if you would walk away from your offer. Ask yourself if you are willing to compromise - is it something you could agree to be reviewed upon completion of a probationary period? If you start the role for the first month on a full-time basis to undertake the training, could you look to change/reduce your hours upon completion?

Glassdoor and Working Mums promote flexible companies on their website. If the offer doesn’t feel right for you, you may want to do further research and look for a company who can offer you what you are looking for.

Renovo is the UK’s leading specialist provider of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email

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