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Flexible Work: How to Negotiate it in Your Next Interview

12 April 2023
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Flexible work schedules allow employees to shift the 9-5 timetable to make room for individual passions, self-care, and spending time with loved ones. In a McKinsey & Company 2022 study, 40% of workers put flexibility as a top motivator for staying at a job, with 26% having left a previous job for lack thereof.

Thankfully, the pandemic has helped loosen the tight bureaucratic grasps in many organisations. Employers offering flexible work have benefited from employees working when they can be most productive and from reduced absenteeism and turnover with increased job satisfaction. With the average cost per hire as high as £3000, it is worth business owners looking after their staff.

Despite the benefits, the traditional corporate culture of structure still restricts many companies. Achieving a flexible or compressed work schedule may therefore require negotiating which could be difficult when also trying to impress a potential employer.

Using our 20+ years of experience in sourcing and negotiating desirable roles for job seekers, we’ve put together a few tips so you can feel confident asking for flexible work at your next interview.

First, think about your ask

Are you requesting complete autonomy to work as and when you choose? or can you be lenient in offering an alternative schedule? Whether you’re hoping to negotiate a compressed 4-day work week or a mash-up of traditional and non-traditional working hours, don’t present requirements as ultimatums if they’re not.

If you don’t ask, you probably won’t get but consider how you come across. Don’t be so demanding that you unnecessarily lose a job you haven’t got yet. 

Introduce the topic with questions rather than statements

‘Do any of your staff currently work under a flexible schedule?’ Is a good first step to introducing your needs. Make sure to evaluate their reaction, it could help you decide if they are even the right employer for you.

Once the topic has been aired, explain how it can benefit them

Use the opportunity to share how working well is a priority to you. Highly engaged workplaces can claim 40% fewer quality defects, and 21% higher profitability, share these ideas with your employer. If their schedule gets in the way of your afternoon yoga classes or means you will rarely see your partner, explain how this will affect your concentration. 

You could even suggest a trial period to prove how well you can work… just make sure you do!

Sleep on it

Listen and respect the answer and go home to think about it. It’s important not to act on impulse. Resist your ‘people-pleasing’ instincts but don’t reject them straight away either. Your interviewer may even convince you of the mutual benefits of working to their system.

Whether you need help finding or negotiating your individual work requirements, at Conspicuous we can help you achieve your ideal role amongst our thousands of Dynamics Partners and End-users. To see how we can help you please contact our team on +44 (0) 1483 233 000 or email

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