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Changes in Flexible Working Policies: What to Do Next

In recent years, the concept of flexible working has transformed from a desirable perk to a fundamental aspect of modern employment. Many companies, particularly here in the UK, have embraced flexible working policies, recognising the benefits they offer to both employees and employers alike.


However, what happens when a company changes or even remove these policies?


Adjusting to such changes can be challenging, but it’s essential to approach the situation with a clear mind and a proactive attitude.


Here’s a guide on what to do if your company alters its flexible working policies:


1. Understand the Changes: Begin by thoroughly understanding the new policies. Review any communications from HR or management regarding the changes and seek clarification if needed. Understanding the specifics will help you assess how they will affect your work-life balance and overall well-being. Bear in mind that companies are still experimenting with flexible work, so whilst they might remove their hybrid work policy, they could replace it with something that still enables you to be both the professional and parent you want to be.


2. Assess Your Needs: Reflect on your personal circumstances and assess how the changes will affect you. Consider factors such as commuting time, childcare responsibilities, and any other commitments outside of work. Remember that your needs may have changed since you started the job, so take the time to assess properly. Understanding your needs will guide your next steps and help you advocate for yourself effectively.


lady working on laptop sat on cushions on floor, with golden Labrador sleeping in foreground

3. Communicate Constructively: If the changes are concerning or challenging for you, it’s crucial to communicate constructively with your employer. Schedule a meeting to discuss your concerns openly and professionally. Most importantly, present your points calmly, focusing on how the changes will affect your productivity and work-life balance and suggest alternative solutions that could address your needs whilst also helping the company succeed.


4. Explore Flexible Options: Even if the company’s new policies seem rigid, there may still be room for negotiation. Explore alternative flexible working arrangements that could meet both your needs and the company’s requirements. Legally speaking, they have to give serious consideration to any formal flexible work requests.


5. Seek Support: If you’re struggling to navigate the changes alone, seek support from colleagues, mentors, or external resources. Chances are, others in your company are facing similar challenges, and sharing experiences and insights can be invaluable. Consider reaching out to HR or employee assistance programs for guidance and support, or speak to your Tribe coach for examples of how other Tribe members have navigated these changes successfully.


full office, people working on desktop computers.

6. Consider Your Options: If the changes in flexible working policies significantly affect your work-life balance and job satisfaction, it may be time to consider your options. This could involve exploring opportunities with other companies that offer more accommodating policies or considering a career change altogether. Remember that your well-being and happiness should always be a priority.


7. Stay Positive and Adaptable: While change can be unsettling, it also presents opportunities for growth and adaptation. Maintain a positive mindset and focus on finding solutions rather than dwelling on the challenges. Embrace flexibility and remain open to new ways of working that may ultimately benefit you in the long run.


In conclusion, navigating changes in flexible working policies requires proactive communication, self-advocacy, and a willingness to adapt. By understanding your needs, engaging in constructive dialogue with your employer, and exploring alternative options, you can find a way forward that supports both your personal life and professional goals.


Remember that your well-being matters, and don’t hesitate to take action to ensure it remains a priority in your career journey.


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