How to Negotiate Work-Life Balance into a Job Offer
Congrats! You made it through the interview process and received an offer for what you hope is your dream job. Now comes the hard part—negotiating. (And remember, you should always negotiate.)
When you’re evaluating a job offer it can be hard to look past the salary. But if a company can’t budge on their budget, it's time to think about other things they may be able to offer you. Maybe you are looking at a longer commute and would like to work from home a few days a week. Or maybe you need to leave early every Tuesday to get your daughter to piano lessons. Or you work best early in the morning and want to work a slightly different schedule than the rest of the office. Whatever it may be, before you accept the job offer is the time to ask for it.
Here’s how to go about asking for work-life balance while negotiating a job offer.
The first step to any negotiation is to explain why you are asking for what you want. Give your potential employer a reason for why you want to work remotely every Friday or need to work a modified schedule on Tuesdays. By doing this you’re bringing in the human element and appealing to your future company as a real person.
Be sure to come prepared with your ask(s) and reasoning. Just like how you would ask for a promotion with a list of accomplishments for why you deserve it, you need to sell your potential employer on why offering you the schedule you need will not only work for them, but benefit them. For example, maybe you’ve worked remotely in the past and have found you’re more productive doing a certain part of your job at home with no distractions or drop bys. Being able to give an adequate explanation will go a long way in your potential employer considering your request.
After you’ve gotten the conversation started, feel out what the company might be most comfortable with (and do your own research!). Maybe they have a group of people that already work remotely so it isn’t a foreign concept to them. Or they could have a flexible schedule policy that allows people to work the hours that best accommodate their schedule and productivity.
Offer a few options that you would be happy with and see what resonates. You will have a better chance of them accepting when you give them alternatives.
Decide on a Plan
Once you have an idea of what option the company or your future manager would be most comfortable with, draw up a potential outline of what your work schedule would look like. This way, it’s on paper and they are able to not only think on it themselves, but circulate it to anyone else who may have to give sign off.
Plus, it shows that you’re not only serious about your request but organized and efficient.
Schedule a Check-In
If your potential employer is still on the fence, or even if they readily accept a flexible schedule, suggest a trial period. It is then up to you to prove that you are not only able to succeed in your flexible work schedule, but thrive in it.
Plus you have a set time to connect on how things are going and how your employer is feeling, something that will make them, and you, more comfortable as you ramp up. This could look something like working from home two days a week for a month and then regrouping to see how all parties are feeling. By offering a check-in, you’re showing your potential manager you want to work together to find a mutually agreeable solution and are willing to work together to find one.
So if more money isn’t on the table, think about what’s really important to you and follow these tips for negotiating work-life balance into your next job offer.