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How do I ask to go down to 4 days a week?

(7 Posts)
Geoff0409 Thu 13-Feb-14 12:20:33

I would like to know if any of you can give me any advice on how I could approach my work with regard to cutting 1 day a week. I would go from 5 full days to 4 full days.

If you've seen any of my previous threads you will see that I have not been happy in my job for some time. I have been applying for other jobs, firstly trying to take myself in a new direction, then applying for similar to I do now and have got absolutely nowhere. Not even an interview.

I have been doing this very slowly and it has taken a back seat as over the last 18 months or so my Mum has been ill with cancer (better now, touch wood), and then my Manager's wife got ill with cancer later last year (she is better now too) - the upheaval would not have helped anyone, and I am not cold-hearted enough to leave anyone in the lurch.

I would like to start a small gardening and/or domestic cleaning business and would like to dedicate 1 week day and any weekend time I can to help it get off the ground. I do not want to tell potential customer's I am only available at weekends, so would also like to say that I am also available on a "monday/friday" or whichever day it is.

Because of the distance, travelling time and petrol that it costs me to get to work (we relocated nearly 3 years ago), it is not worth me doing 3 full days and 2 half days for example. I wouldn't even be that much worse off if it took a while to get my first customers. I would also like to make sure it is the same day each week if possible, so that I show some professionalism and routine to potential customers.

The big problem I have is that in an office of 14 people, there are 4 different departments, of which we are the smallest - just the 2 of us after redundancies 5 years ago. I know for a fact that my manager will go straight to the the MD who will probably say no - it will be "what do we do if my manager is on holiday, off ill? etc etc - I wouldn't mind but it's only a customer service job and anyone here can be polite and listen to a few complaints - it's not rocket science. I just don't think anyone would be willing to help.

I would like to phrase it as well and as comfortably as possible to give myself a shot at the small chance of it being agreed.

Sorry for the long post, but any help or advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Mandy21 Thu 13-Feb-14 12:52:13

I think if there are only 2 of you in the office then you are going to struggle if its a client facing role - I suspect the management team will be well within their rights to say there is a "business reason" why they cannot agree to a flaexible working request. Is there any way your company has the infrastructure / technology to divert any incoming calls (which cannot be taken by your colleague) to your mobile for instance (as a way of trying to get round it)?

Geoff0409 Thu 13-Feb-14 13:00:59

Hi Mandy , it's not a client facing role, just office based as far as customer's are concerned. There are some days when so little happens I might as well not be at work. Other days different. I know it's tricky being only 2 of us, that's why I want to phrase it well. My manager is not a "doer" so to speak and will just go straight to the MD. My manager does know that I have been looking for a job as I told him a little while ago. He also knows that I haven't had much luck.

Mandy21 Fri 14-Feb-14 20:45:58

Ok, good luck! Am no help....!

janey68 Sat 15-Feb-14 12:01:16

IME when we've had flexible working requests, a request for 4 days is usually the most tricky to accommodate, because its difficult to employ someone for just one day to make up the shortfall. Are you prepared to compromise and suggest a 3 day/ 2 day jobshare? Realistically, most people seeking employment want at least 2 days, so that will make it more viable from the point of view of the employer. My company has dealt with 2 FW requests recently, both asking for 4 days and interestingly both wanting Wednesdays off! I can see the attraction of a mid week break, but there was no way we could agree to this for totally valid business reasons. However, both these employees agreed to job share in the end

Speccymummy Sat 15-Feb-14 12:28:25

You need to demonstrate there is a benefit to the business if they let you work 4 days a week. For example, could you pretty much cover all your workload in 4 days, and the company would benefit from paying you a reduced salary? Or, if the work needs full time hours, could you work compressed hours and work 5 days worth of hours over 4 days? To be honest, if there is no benefit to the employer and they know you are wanting to leave anyway, they haven't got much reason to accommodate your request, so I'd try and find something that is in it for them if you can.

Geoff0409 Wed 19-Feb-14 11:13:13

Interesting that the requests were both for Wednesdays janey , to be honest, I am not worried what day it was. If I were to guess and told them that I didn't mind, I think that they'd suggest a Friday as 9 times out of 10 it is the quietest day. My worry is that unfortunately a lot of people at my work don't really like helping anyone else out with any work. Sort of "get it on someone else's desk" lot. I know I need to get out of there but being the sole bread winner I can't just leave. In any other company I've worked for I have never come across such two-faced people and some are really nasty. Everyone keeps saying "what a great team", but I do not see it at all. It is certainly not what I experience when I am at work. Good idea speccymummy to try and show what benefits there could be. People seem to think that they can shove anything at me and I will be able to sort it out, but I also know that if I wasn't there and they were asked to do something then they wouldn't know how and wouldn't want to do it. A few years ago there was 2 of us doing my job, and the other person left ata. Round of redundancies, which boiled down to the fact that I had been there a bit longer. My manager even admitted that if it had been a popularity contest, then the other person would have stayed, but I guarantee that the department would have suffered more because they never did any of the donkey work or challenging things that can pop up. They just did the easy bits. Sorry for the long post. Am thinking that I will see how the ground lies. One of the people in the office has just had a FW request okayed and then rejected the day after. But they were looking for slightly awkward hours each day. I am not, just want to cut a day. I would honestly advise anyone who is looking for work to seriously consider whether you want to work in a smaller company/office. In my own experience it has generally not been a good overall happy time.

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