Follow these 7 steps to ask the boss for a hybrid schedule

If you're not ready or don't want to return to the office full time, FlexJobs' career coaches provide a guide to request the work arrangement you want most.

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Image: iStock

With more and more opportunities to be vaccinated against COVID-19 opening up throughout the U.S., organizations are on the precipice of a return to the office. But going back to the office doesn't necessarily mean it will be full-time on premise. After all, most workers have grown accustomed to working from home remotely, which has been met with success from both employers and employees. 

Now, according to Microsoft, 66% of global employers want to accommodate a hybrid work model and are redesigning office spaces for it. One of the most common requests from employees is to adopt just such a schedule. Microsoft also found that many workers enjoy working at home, with 73% of survey respondents that they want flexible work options and 67% saying they want more in-person interactions with teammates.

Flex work is here to stay, and that means remote work is now considered standard practice. The remote-centric FlexJobs' surveyed 2,100 remote workers and found that only 2% said post-pandemic they wanted to return to the office full time, with one-third (33%) preferring hybrid and 65% wanting to stay fully remote.

SEE: COVID Vaccination Policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Career coaching: How to prepare for the meeting with the boss

However, if you're hearing rumblings that your boss is leaning more toward a return to the traditional 100% on-site model, FlexJobs' career coaches have some advice for you, through a seven-step guide on how to broach the subject with your boss and get the hybrid schedule you really want. 

The coaches' advice is geared toward an organized, thoughtful, read-the-room presentation,  complete with backup evidence. 

  1. Time it right
  2. Be specific
  3. Prepare your talking points
  4. Practice in advance
  5. Explain the benefits
  6. Emphasize communication and accountability
  7. Offer a trial run

If you do find out that your company is likely to abandon remote work after the pandemic, you'll want to have the talk. 

Wait for your one-on-one with your boss to discuss a hybrid schedule or schedule a specific meeting time, ask in an email, explain the brevity of the meeting and that the topic will be your schedule. 

Don't ask for "a few days" or "a couple of days," instead, say "I want to work from home Mondays and Wednesdays," and Fridays, if that's what you want. Say why those days are good remote days. By being specific, it shows your team leader your plan is a thoughtful one.

You don't need to make a PowerPoint presentation but prepare talking points, make a list to remind you of what to talk about. Emphasize who your proposed hybrid schedule will help your boss, the team and your company.

It's an important conversation, so get feedback. Ask someone you trust to listen to your pitch and ask for very honest feedback. Be very specific, back your request up with proven data, and speak confidently. 

Focus less on how you'll benefit from the hybrid schedule and more on how it will help your employer; use remote worker statistics, especially if you have your own you've kept during the pandemic. "Collect any data that can reflect an increase in your productivity, collaboration, and so on that occurred while you worked remotely," said Betsy Andrews, career coach at FlexJobs, in the company's blog.

Let your boss know how well you communicate with your teammates and describe how you'll execute that communication and collaboration from home. FlexJobs suggests you say you'll respond promptly to Slack messages, document your progress and send out a weekly email that rounds up your week.

If you get pushback, offer a trial run, set goals that you'll keep and prove to your boss, at the end of the trial period, meet with your boss to discuss the results.

If your manager is still reluctant, you may just have to be gracious and let them know you'll keep the feedback, should the opportunity present itself again in the future. 

10 high-paying hybrid jobs currently offered on FlexJobs.com

These jobs meet the following criteria: Hybrid (require partial in office and remote time), represents a mix of industries and career levels, full-time positions, pays at least $50K and little-to-no travel required.

1.   Reverb.com Senior Director, Customer Experience ($170,000 - $186,000)

Full-time partial remote role. He/she will manage the Customer Experience team, develop policies and plans, and test new support processes. 10+ years' customer support experience and five-plus years' managing managers required. Salary is $170K - $186K/year.

2.      Latitude  Controller ($130,000 - $150,000)

Support technical accounting and cost accounting for manufacturing and medical device industries. Must have a master's and 10 years of progressive experience in both accounting and finance combined. Partial remote role pays $130-$150K.

3.       Arthena  Senior Data Engineer ($120,000 - $140,000)

Full-time job, remote option. Pays $120,000 a. year. Needs bachelor's degree and three-four years' work-related experience. Design and implement major tool and infrastructure projects, collaborate with data science and operations and design systems.

4.       Natural Resources Defense Council/NRDC Major Gifts Officer ($115,000 - $140,000)

Oversee major gifts and development functions for a nonprofit organization. Manage foundations, strategies, meetings, solicitation and relationships. Partial-remote role includes travel. Must have 5 years of fundraising or sales experience and a BS/BA.

5.      AngelList  Talent - Senior Recruiter ($100,000 - $150,000)

Optional remote job for a candidate who will own the full cycle recruiting process, work with leadership to create scorecards and interview loops, and iterate on the company's recruiting process. Three years' recruiting experience required $100k-$150k/year.

6.      Keshet  Chief Communications Officer ($100,000 - $115,000)

Work cross-functionally to develop and implement a communications strategy for efforts in social change. Requires strong leadership skills, interpersonal skills, and related experience. Full-time, remote optional position with benefits; $100k-$115k/yr.

7.     InGo.me  Account Executive, Enterprise ($100,000)

Full-time job, remote option. Pays $100,000 a year. Needs five years' enterprise B2B sales experience and strong sales preparation. Travel. Drive revenue by meeting or exceeding sales goals, represent community-based event growth and will develop a strategy.

8.     Cloud Elements DevOps Engineer ($100,000)

Optional remote job for candidates who will serve as ops engineer, support public cloud deployments, collaborate with internal teams to identify business goals, and work to improve operations. Three years' Linux and scripting experience required $100k/year.

9.      HouseCall Senior Software Engineer ($98,000 - $125,000)

Full-time partial remote role. He/she will develop and deploy features, write testable code, collaborate with product managers, & mentor junior staff. Bachelor's degree and 2+ years' software engineering experience required. Salary is $98K - $125K/year.

10.     Zoobean  Ruby on Rails Developer ($90,000 - $120,000)

Full-time position with the option of remote work. $90k - $120k/yr. Duties include working with product team members to develop & maintain applications & features, analyzing problems, and assisting with diagnosing & patching reported issues.

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By N.F. Mendoza

N.F. Mendoza is a writer at TechRepublic and based in Los Angeles. She has a BA in Broadcast Journalism and Cinema Critical Studies and a Master's of Professional Writing, both from USC. Nadine has more than 20 years experience as a journalist coveri...