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Creating A Flexible Schedule
 by Kenyatta Thomas
Six months ago, I approached my manager about going part time. I was tired of the five day grind, not getting enough done at home, not spending more time - not just with my son - but spending quality time on ME.

The first place I looked, was in my employee handbook to see if there was some way I could create a better schedule for myself, possibly work from home. The second thing I did, was REALLY think about my work - and could my work possibly be done outside of the office, at the same productivity level. Would I be able to conference in on meetings while I was not physically in the office?

Things I knew I'd need off the bat?

Secondary phones line so I was accessible while working off-site;
A computer that was at least up-to-date, capable of handling a dial in program; and
A clear plan to show to my manager of what I planned on doing at home.

The next step was to speak to my manager.

We set up a trial run, where I would work from home one day a week, and set up a system where I was actually able to dial-in to my desktop at work from home, and actually do my work. We tried it for a month - and it worked wonderfully.

The biggest transition was cutting back on my actual working hours while still keeping my hand in the pie so to speak. Before you decide to cut back on your hours, you have got to take a hard look at your financial situation, and honestly ask yourself if you can afford to do it. In my case, it was just a matter of cutting out all overtime.

I went from working 95 hours every two weeks to working 80 hours every two weeks . . . and the change in ME was remarkable. No, I didn't have that extra money anymore, but I also didn't feel burnt out anymore either.

The point I am trying to get across is, if you want a more flexible work schedule, it IS possible. Do the research of your company's policies. Talk to your spouse or significant other about the effect of cutting back on your hours will have on your financial situation. Talk to your manager about the possibilities - and if your company is NOT set up for this - have a plan in hand when you go to talk.

Sometimes it's trial and error . . . but it can be done.

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