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9 top tips to successfully negotiate work flexibility

Updated: Jun 16, 2022

Are you planning your return to work and wondering how you are going to make it all work? Have you lost some of your time freedom since your little one joined the party?

As you return to work after maternity leave you may need different arrangements than you did before. You may be considering changes to your working hours

The good news is that flexible working is on the rise and more companies are adopting ‘agile’ working mind-sets as they realise it brings numerous benefits to them – engaged employees, increased productivity, happier teams and the competitive edge in talent retention.

Tricia Nelson, Head of Talent at EY, suggests women returning to work should practice their negotiation skills, be direct about what they need and not talk themselves out of a higher salary or better terms.

Here are my top 9 tips to successfully negotiate flexible work

1. Dare to dream

Throw out the rulebook and start with your wildest ideal result – don’t shrink before you have started.

2. Be specific with your request

Make it as easy as possible for them. Make it easy by doing the thinking for them. Avoid being vague.

3. Do your homework in advance

Make sure you scenario test your proposed options. Think about what is in it for them (WIIFT) and use evidence to back up why your request is a good idea for all parties involved.

4. Aim for collaboration not conflict

Position your mindset that this is a positive discussion and that it is possible to achieve win-win. Cultivate an attitude of co-operation.

5. Focus on FACTS not OPINION

Try to consider if your negotiation power is being weakened by their seniority. If in doubt ask them a question, don’t automatically back away.

6. Decision maker

Work out who is going to make the final call and ensure they are part of the conversation. Know who you need to influence.

7. Know your BATNA

Also known as your Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement. Be flexible with your flexible request but also know when you will say no and walk away.

8. Consider your emotional response

Challenges can be predicted, keep your emotions in check, you don't have to give an answer immediately

9. Aim for a fast yes not a slow NO

be direct with your questions regarding the likelihood of the outcome

p.s remember to keep a paper trail

If you want more support with your return to work after maternity leave then get in touch


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