Follow these guidelines:
- Consider the timing – The proposal should be presented in person when you have your manager's time and attention. Don’t procrastinate. Present your proposal with ample time for review.
- Think like your boss – Anticipate objections. The last thing he/she wants is more work. Make sure your proposal is complete and convincing. In other words, an easy "yes." Be sure to role play ahead of time so you feel comfortable with what you are going to say.
- Be flexible, but know your limits – Listen to counter proposals and be prepared to make concessions. At the same time, know your bottom line and stick with it.
- Stick with the business case; avoid the tendency to justify – Flexible work arrangements are a smart business decision. Whether you are proposing an arrangement based on child care issues or for recreational pursuits, your reasons for wanting a flexible position have no place in your discussion.
If you've made valuable, consistent contributions to your company's business, it will cost them far less to grant your flexible work needs than to replace you.