When Maree Mamo took up an executive level job at a national energy company, she wasn’t about to give up her flexible working hours.
In previous roles, the Melbourne mum-of-two had been able to negotiate a compressed working week and Fridays off. So, when she started at AGL as general manager of Customer, Digital and Data about 18 months ago she was happy to see they embraced flexibility.
Maree was able to ensure that by working a bit longer from the office Monday to Thursday (and from home during the evenings when needed) she had Friday’s off to attend her children’s school assemblies.
Now a champion for AGL’s flexible working policy, Maree shares her top tips for negotiating a flexible working week.
1. Do your homework.
Whether it’s making a presentation to your current employer or going for a new job – doing your research is important.
“Schedule a meeting and do your homework. Think about what it is you’re looking for. think about what it is the expectations are of you and your role and how you could fulfil those expectations in an alternative way,” Maree says.
“Take consideration of what some of the thoughts of the organisation might be and what their needs are, so you can ideally present some great possible options up front in that conversation.”
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For example, if you spend 30 minutes clearing emails each night, could you be leaving a half hour earlier and doing that on the train home from work (or once the kids are asleep) instead of in the office?
And if you’re going for a new job, a quick peek around a larger company’s website should turn up some company mottos or values that you can check against your own.
“I would encourage people to seek out employers who have policies and cultures that align with your own personal values.”
2. Value yourself.
Make sure you know what you’re worth going in and keep in mind your skills and experience, Maree recommends.
“What is it about you that makes you highly valuable? I think particularly women need to get in touch with what that is. That makes a compelling argument in any negotiation,” she says.
Whether it’s your five years in the industry, the sales targets you exceed month-on-month or the workplace initiatives you’ve introduced – all the reasons that have helped you land (or might get you) the job are the reasons why you’re worth making flexible arrangements for.