Work doesn't have to be a battlefield. We live in a collaborative, forward-thinking society where employees and employers can be happy. It's possible to get our work done and also have a happy home life. We just need to put the right work relationships in place, with our superiors, to enjoy the work-life-balance possibilities. Work can be a win/win for everyone and here are 4 proven ways on how to gently push back at work and set the tone for a healthy work-life-balance;
1. Clearly, understand the criteria on which you are judged
Are you marked on output or hours logged? The later causes problems for flexible work and may also disadvantage your employer. Encourage open discussions about how you are expected to work and be crystal clear on these points. This obviously helps you to impress your employer but also to open meaningful discussions about how different work practices could provide a win/win for you and your organization. It's typically much more beneficial for employers and employees if work is judged by output as opposed to hours logged.
2. Create a goals/objectives document
If this document hasn't been created by your boss, then use your initiative and create it yourself. Set up a meeting with your manager and use the information to create a document clearly outlining employer expectations. This is a document where you’ll list and then track the progress of all your projects, initiatives and key tasks. You’ll use this document during progress review meetings with your manager. It's a crystal clear benchmark to asses your progress and can help you to make huge leaps of progress in your career. If you meet all of your objectives then it's much easier for you to negotiate a more flexible working style.
3. Embody your superiors communication style
Establish a positive working relationship by learning about your superiors communication style and preferred method of working and communicating with you. How do they like to receive updates? Do they want weekly, bi-weekly or monthly updates? Once you have the perfect mode of communication than your working relationship is built for success.
4. Schedule progress meetings
If this isn't already in place work, with your superior to schedule regular review meetings on both your calendars (based on how often your boss prefers to meet). Schedule them on a repeating basis, at least six months into the future. During these meetings, come prepared with an updated Goals and Objectives document and be ready to discuss your progress on each item. During these meetings you might like to request different working times/ flexible work policies - it's a good idea to discuss how these policies would be a win/win for both you and your employer.