After rounds of interviews, you receive the call you’ve been anticipating. Though the job offer is music to your ears and the salary is spot on, you’re left longing for something more: flexible benefits.
To many professionals, flexibility is just as valuable today as financial compensation. More people are prioritizing a work-life balance, and it’s not just working mothers. In fact, a whopping 77 percent of men are currently using flexible work schedules, according to the “How Men Flex” survey by the Working Mother Research Institute.
For those presented with a job offer, negotiating flexible benefits might seem complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. These tips will help you be a strong negotiator so you can get the flexibility you want out of your job offer:
- Feel things out at the interview
The interview is not an appropriate time to bring up your desire to have flexible perks, but it a great time to feel out the situation. The easiest way to do this is to ask probing questions when you’re inquiring about company culture. For example, ask what a typical day is like, what the work hours are and if members of the team work from home. You can also scout out answers on the company’s career webpage. HR departments know flexibility sells, and if the company offers it, there’s a good chance will be touted there.
- Know when the time is right
The best time to address your desire for flexibility is after an offer is on the table. First, consider the entire benefits package and decide what your ideal flexible benefits would be as well the minimum you’re willing to take. Make sure to be reasonable in your request or you may risk shutting down all negotiations and losing the offer.
- Ask tactfully
The manner in which you ask for flexibility makes a big difference. Be polite and never be adversarial. If it sounds like an ultimatum, you will burn a bridge quickly. Note what you’d like to propose and say why it’s important to you. Then provide evidence that proves your ability to work the schedule you propose. For example:
“Thank you. I’d like to accept your offer and can work 8 hours each day. Would you be willing to allow me to work a flexible schedule from 7-3 and telecommute two days a week from home? This allows me to be present when my son gets off the bus. I currently work from home several days a week successfully and have a quiet home office that is ideal for telecommuting. I’m confident this schedule would allow me to be productive at work while maintaining my quality of life at home.”
- Get it in writing
When the employer responds, you may not get everything you want, but hopefully it meets your minimum requirements. When you’re satisfied and willing to accept the position, request to get the offer in writing. An oral agreement is not sufficient. Have this in hand before giving your notice to your current employer.