Q: I am applying for a job that claims alternative work schedules are available. I would love to take advantage of this but don’t want to bring it up for fear that I will sound more interested in the schedule than the job.
A: Have you ever asked a manager about working a 4 x 10 workweek and been given “the look?” You’re not alone. Historically, many organizations have talked about the availability of alternative work schedules (staggered hours, 4 day work weeks, telecommuting, etc.) but have not followed through. An upside of the down economy is that we are already seeing an increase in flexible work arrangements. Offering these alternatives is now being viewed as a necessary, cost-saving measure in many organizations. So much so that, in some cases, you may be required to work an unconventional schedule. For instance, many employers – especially in government – are closing their offices three days a week, requiring that employees work 4 days rather than 5.
Old ways of thinking don’t apply. Don’t hesitate to express your interest in a company’s flexible work arrangements. It just might make you even more marketable.