When 9 To 5 Doesn’t Work

woman-flexible-workDon’t leave to find flexible work, create it!

We know we are constantly talking about flexible work and all its wonderful benefits here at School Hours.  If you’re currently employed, you might be thinking ‘Could my existing work become flexible work?’. The simple answer is yes; almost any job can have some element of flexibility added to it.  The not so simple answer is that some jobs will be able to accommodate all or most forms of flexibility, while others will only suit one or a few types.

As mentioned above, lots of jobs can have flexibility applied to them.  Knowledge workers with little or no customer contact, like those in IT, administration, finance, architects, engineers, etc, could all have almost the full gamut of flexibility options applied with ease. Whether it’s flexible full-time, part-time, annualised or compressed hours, job sharing or even term-time, each could be accommodated by a forward thinking employer.

Also mentioned above is that not all job types will have the luxury of so many flexibility options being able to be applied.  Retail, hospitality and professional service roles come to mind immediately as roles where flexibility maybe harder to come by. Lawyers, accountants, shop assistants, managers, receptionists, sales professionals and the like will all generally require the employee to be in attendance during specific hours making flexibility harder, but not impossible to accommodate.

Whether you’re in a role that has plenty of flexibility options or not, your application for flexibility is key to success and the following tips may come in handy when preparing for this

  • Think about your role – What type of flexibility will your role allow?  Get an idea about what types of flexibility requests would be supported and what may not.  Ideally there would be a precedent with someone else working already receiving flexibility in a similar type of role.
  • Think support – While not imperative, it’s ideal to have someone in the organisation, whether it’s your manager or someone else in a decision-making role, to support your concept, even it’s only in principle.
  • Think WIN-WIN – Getting your request accepted will be a win for you, but what constitutes a win for your employer?  Think about this one long and hard and make sure it forms a large proportion of your application.
  • Think written – ALL applications should be formalised in writing.  A written application shows the seriousness of the request and it’s also much easier to get all your thoughts out on paper.  By all means pitch it verbally, however back this up with a written request.

In conclusion, your existing job could be made flexible as long as the business believes it works for them as much as it works for you and the onus will be on you to prove that.  If they are on the fence, consider asking for a trial to get it across the line.  If you’re still unsure about how to go about this, email us and we’ll help you work through it.  We can also recommend some application writing services to make sure you’re putting your absolute best foot forward.


Leigh Grigaliunas

Leigh is an owner and co-founder of School Hours Pty Ltd.Leigh's passion for helping others coupled with his desire to achieve a balance between raising children and earning a living, lead him to create School Hours Pty Ltd with his wife Yasmin.School Hours will be the place to go for Australian parents wanting to connect with progressive thinking, family friendly employers.

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