You may have noticed lately the headlines announcing that the UAE will change the working week to just 4 days. This comes to enhance the professional life and achieve a work-life balance for all employees in the country.
However, given the policies of the various private sector companies, it may have its tolls on some employees, as the reactions vary between supporters and opponents; Some see this decision as the first step towards a more prosperous future, while others believe that its harms will outweigh its benefits.
And if you're looking to adapt to this decision for the benefit of your professional and personal life, regardless of the benefits it entails or otherwise, here's everything you need to know about changing your working hours:
How do you change your working hours to a schedule that works for you?
What is Work Schedule Changing?
Work schedule changing is an adjustment of an employee's work schedule. It might be because the employee's responsibilities change, or there is a new regulation (like the UAE's case). Sometimes, a schedule change at work is a change in an employee's hours throughout the week. That change can be for multiple days at a time or for a single day.
Schedule changes are typically authorized for employees with a history of good performance and attendance who don't need close supervision because they're knowledgeable and capable in their jobs.
What Are Common Examples of Schedule Changes?
- Flexible schedules
A flexible schedule is an arrangement between you and your employer that allows you to change your work location. They are a form of telecommuting, which means that you do your work from home rather than in a company office. When you have the freedom to choose when and how you work, it's easier to avoid feeling overworked. The other significant benefit of flexible scheduling is that it can help prevent burnout.
- Compressed schedules
A compressed schedule has been constructed to allow more leisure time than a traditional, non-compressed schedule. Often this is achieved by reducing the number of hours worked per week, sometimes by reducing the number of days worked per week, and sometimes both.
- Remote schedules
Remote schedules are used when an employee or contractor works away from the office for extended periods. As with all schedules, remote schedules can be a valuable benefit for both employees and employers.
- Hours Change Schedules
When individuals want to have a different set of hours than what they are currently doing, this is an hour change. An employee, for example, may request to work from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. rather than 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Why Should Managers Be Flexible with Schedule Changing?
Many employers are worried that if they approve a request to change an employee's schedule, they will be inundated with more requests.
There are many reasons to approve their employees' request to change their work hours. Here are some of them:
- It helps the employees to take care of their personal affairs.
- The employers could save money by using less electricity and gas.
- It makes the employee happier, which makes him more productive at work.
- The employee becomes more open to working overtime if required.
- If the employee has a family, approving his request can help him spend more time with them.
- If he needs to go for education or training, approval of his application will enable him to acquire the knowledge or skills necessary to carry out his work more efficiently.
When Do You Request a Change of Working Hours?
There are plenty of situations in which employees can request a change in working hours - and it's prevalent, and it's always good to have a schedule that fits your needs.
You may ask to change your schedule when:
- You want to benefit from other aspects of your life (for example, you want to attend a training course or you are a parent and need child care).
- You have serious personal problems (for example, dealing with an emergency that requires you to take care of another person).
- You feel tired and want to be more efficient at work by reducing stress (for example, if you're going to get home early because you have a lot of work to do in the evening).
Who Are You Asking to Change Your Work Schedule?
Agree on specific points on which you can impress others as recent accomplishments or advantages that you would accrue to your team if your request is approved.
Undoubtedly, the final word on whether or not your request to change your working hours is in the business's best interest lies with your line manager.
So, make sure he agrees first and then ask for support when you send your request to the HR Officer or your higher manager.
How to Ask for A Schedule Change?
Don’t Be Afraid
Employees should not be afraid to change their working hours because employers are always open to negotiation. Even if they disagree, they are likely to be more lenient if the employee is persistent.
The first thing to do is talk to your employer and explain that you can't get all the work done during the working time because of your family or your personal activities outside the office.
If you can't convince him, try to stick to your case. You can tell him how much you appreciate your work, but it will make it easier to get some personal things done if you leave on time.
Make A Plan
Don't ask to change your work schedule without reasonable reasons. By logical reasons, we mean everything that convinces the employer.
So, if you say you changed your work schedule for personal reasons only without specifying the reasons, the rejection may be your first response. Planning also makes you look much more organized and professional.
Identify clear reasons and make a plan to state these reasons (your plan can ensure that you determine the appropriate time to send your request, develop explanations for your reasons, and be psychologically prepared to negotiate with your manager if your application is turned down).
Determine If A Schedule Change is Right for You
Not every change is "meaningful." You may see that changing your working hours will benefit you and be surprised by the more significant consequences.
So, before deciding whether to change your work schedule, consider the following:
- What are the pros and cons of requesting a schedule change?
- What are the factors that facilitate or make this change difficult?
- What are the best options for changing the work schedule that best suits your needs?
Then write down your responsibilities at work and home and make sure these two lists are complete. You need to define your responsibilities now fully!
After this step, it's time to calculate your earnings and expenses. Ensure that you will not lose money due to changing your schedule.
After all these steps, you can safely say that changing the schedule is necessary for you or not.
Stay Professional and Positive
The employee needs to maintain a positive and professional attitude when changing his work hours.
The first step an employee should take in maintaining a "positive tone." The employer will not accept a request submitted by an angry employee. So, the employee should be polite and calm when talking to the employer; This will help him succeed when requesting a change in working hours.
The second step that the employee must adhere to is to explain why they want this change satisfactorily.
The employee needs to give good reasons for changing the working hours, because the employer may argue about this.
The third step for an employee is to request a solution. Again, it is vital that the employee not become angry or frustrated while their request is rejected.
He also needs to ask for some ideas on preparing for the working day if his request is rejected.
Compile Relevant Documentation
It is essential to collect all documents that may be required before submitting your request to change your working hours. For example, try to identify your accomplishments in a shorter time than the imposed working hours or make a list of your tasks that you do better at night after working hours. You need to demonstrate how flexibility in working hours benefits you, which also helps the organization.
Submitting your request without documents proving your ability to commit to new working hours is like building a house without a drawing .. Error means starting from scratch, not repairing.
Submit Your Request in Writing
Writing your application may pay off when talking about changing working hours. Here are some points to consider:
- Don't send an email until after discussing it verbally with your manager.
- Mention the new working hours you would like to adhere to and specify the reasons in your email.
- Maintain professionalism and etiquette for speaking with superiors while emphasizing that your request falls under your rights as an employee.
- State how approval of your application will benefit the company.
- Ask for a response within a specified time. If the deadline has passed and no response is received, you can assume that your employer's answer is "no."
Provide Clear Reasons for Changing Your Work Schedule
You have to be ready when requesting a change in your working hours. Employers always respond with surprising and logical responses when a change in working hours is asked.
Here are some essential tips:
- Stick to the truth whenever possible: Your boss will respect real-life circumstances that make you need to take time off or make schedule changes. And he or she may have suggestions on how to solve the problem that conflicts with your schedule.
- Be realistic: There's nothing wrong with making up an excuse if it's believable and won't cost your company any money or resources.
Consider What Kind of Schedule You’d Like
Before making a final decision on changing your business hours, think deeply!
First, weigh the pros and cons of the current schedule. And if the positives are more substantial than the negatives, you should not ask for change.
Second, think about whether the change is worth it. It's good to have flexibility in your working hours, but it's also important to set boundaries between your work and personal life.
If you decide that changing your working hours will benefit you, make sure you are clear about what you want and willing to compromise (working late, for example).
Consider The Company’s Culture
You don't work in a vacuum! You have to work with other people who have their requirements, motives, and plans. So, what you see as a good idea, others may reject entirely because it does not fit their needs.
Here, you have to think about the company's culture before asking to change your working hours. How flexible is the organization in setting work schedules? And how does the company deal with the employee when work interferes with life? Is there room for negotiation? Does your manager have an "open door" policy and welcome everyone to discuss their requirements, or will submitting your application requires more steps to be adhered to?
Ask for A Trial
The first step to changing your work schedule is to request a trial period.
You have to ask your boss to give you a week off at your preferred time, which will be a trial period.
A trial period is an excellent way to prove to your employer that you can handle your work schedules and are true to your intentions
Realize Not All Companies Will Give You a Change in Your Schedule
There are many reasons why your company may not be able to change the schedule for you. They may not have flexible work schedule policies, or other people may also require flexible schedules.
However, your manager may decide to prioritize others who have worked at the company for a more extended period. Furthermore, you have to stick to the company's policy of always being available during business hours, which means that if they need you, they will call you even if you are at rest.
The bottom line is, "You have to ask."
The answer will be either yes or no. If rejected, you'll at least be honored to try, and your manager will remember your request when accepting someone else's request to change business hours.
Be Open to Other Suggestions by Your Employer
If your employer refuses your request to change your working hours, they may have some suggestions for alternative arrangements that you can make, and you should be flexible.
And if you still can't agree and the situation is causing problems for you or other employees, talk to your company's HR representative about it. In most cases, there is a satisfactory solution for all parties.
Be Prepared to Find Other Work If They Say 'No'
It's not always greener on the other side. However, suppose your current company is not flexible with the requirements of its employees. In that case, you should consider looking for another organization where you can work in proportion to your daily schedule. In many cases, requests to change working hours are accurate and inevitable and do not tolerate rejection since you, as an employee, are a human being. He has a home, a family, and life duties separate from those of a job, and one should not negatively affect the other.
How Do I Write an Email Requesting a Schedule Change?
Subject: Request to change schedule
Dear [Recruiter’s Name],
I'm [Your Name], a [Job Title] working on [Your Department/Team].
I would like to request a change to my schedule from to [desired schedule]. The precise reason for the change is that I want to balance my life and work as I already can start my workday at (desired hour).
I hope we can work together to ensure work quality and output will not be impacted by this request as My manager can confirm my competence given the results I have achieved with the company since [your start date].
Thank you for considering this matter in advance.