Working with a flexible schedule has a lot of advantages, but to get such a position is not easy (and for some professional areas is impossible). But to have a dream job, you need to perfectly master some basic skills.
You do not like your job? You may like what you do or like the people you work with, but when you consider all aspects, you realize that your work is not what you need. Maybe the reason why you don’t like your work is because you don’t have a flexible schedule.
You need a job to earn money and take care of your family, but because of your job you are so busy that you cannot spend enough time with your loved ones. Or you have a great job, but you spend two hours every day to get to it. Is this situation familiar?
If you want to see your children more than 15 minutes before bed, or if you want to spend two hours walking with your dog rather than in traffic or driving, you need a change. And if the cause of job dissatisfaction is a lack of flexible hours, the solution to the problem is simple: working with flexible hours.
Working with flexible schedule will allow you to be freer in terms of schedule and space. You decide where and when to work.
There are several other scenarios where work can be organized according to your individual wishes:
- Remote work. You work full time at home.
- Part-time employment. Hours of work are negotiable and can change.
- Project work. Terms of start and deadline are discussed. You can not only work when and where you want, but also make breaks between orders.
- Full time with a floating schedule. For example, you can work from home two days a week.
Remote work allows you to perform your duties from anywhere: from home, the nearest library, coworking or, according to popular belief, lying in a hammock on the beach. It sounds too good to be true. But there are many inspirational examples of companies and people who have proven that remote work is real and productive.
Another optional flexible schedule option is that working hours can be agreed upon. And yes, there are many more employers who are more important than your presence between 9:00 and 18:00.
A flexible schedule is an amazing opportunity. It is an opportunity to spend the morning with your children and to work when your spouse is busy with them. It is an opportunity to work from Monday to Thursday, and on Friday with a friend to do their own project or visit their parents. It is an opportunity to take a breath after the project is over – every month, every six months or every year. Once you have completed the project, you can rest if your finances allow, or you can take on a new one. Nothing can be more interesting than diversity.
A flexible schedule helps to achieve a balance between your favorite work and your equally favorite personal life.
If the idea of choosing working hours, duration, workplace is what you dream about, you need to take the next step – to find and get a job with flexible schedule. And this is not only freedom, but also a higher level of responsibility. Do you want to be accepted to the desired place? In this case, read the list of necessary basic skills for flexible work.
To have a flexible work schedule means to dispose of your time at your discretion. The manager doesn’t look over the shoulder or remind you that the deadlines are coming.
But with freedom comes responsibility. Nobody controls every move you make, you have to manage it yourself. So you need to develop the following personal qualities.
When you work away from the office or during other hours or frequently change projects, you lose all “unplanned” communications: random chatter in the break room about the launch of a new project or rumors about a wonderful vacation of your colleague. With flexible schedules, you need to be able to establish relationships with other employees. You know for yourself that if you get along with the team, the job becomes more than just a living.
2. Ability to set borders
Be careful not to go too far. Of course, working online allows you to stay in touch 24/7, but no one will want to answer even an interesting question if the notification woke them up in the middle of the night. Be attentive to the schedule (especially in international teams, don’t forget about time zones), be attentive to the personal features of your colleagues. For example, a designer answers quickly in Telegram, while a marketing manager prefers email. Learn to communicate in their style.
And finally, to realize the dream of flexible work, you must be active and proactive. Because it does not matter if you are in another city or in another time zone, your boss and your colleagues must be sure that they can rely on you in difficult moments. You need to be able to do your job and take responsibility for results.
When you work independently, you must make sure you keep things under control. It is all for the same reason: you don’t have an intern or manager to remind you that you need to get rid of the chaos in your documents and deal with your current tasks. Make sure you have the necessary organizational tools.
4. Task manager
Fixing all your tasks and keeping track of your readiness for deadlines is key to becoming a successful employee. Your company can offer its tools to solve this problem, but you need to be sure that they are right for you. Get ready and, before getting the job, try some task managers in business. You will learn the basics of working with them and get rid of the need to keep all the information in your head.
5. Project management software
When you need to go beyond personal responsibility, you need a tool that can help coordinate the team for a larger task. Most project management programs work on the same principle as task managers. But specialized software has many more features that keep everyone informed and coordinate the schedules of all employees in one place. They are popular Asana, JIRA, Basecamp, but knowledge of any system will come in handy for you when hiring.
6.Time management software
“Time is money”, although it sounds unoriginal, is not meaningless. Ineffective time management inflicts millions of losses on companies, as well as reduces the productivity of individual employees and managers. For various reasons, the modern person often does not have enough time to cope with all tasks. Fortunately, technologies that help optimize hours spent on work and leisure come to the aid. Monitask, TimeDoctor, Clockify just some of these software products to improve your personal productivity and to track time spend on different tasks
In any job it is important to be able to cooperate with other people. When it comes to working with flexible schedules, your communication skills need to be doubly developed. You do not see the gestures of your interlocutor, his mimicry, do not hear the tone of voice. To some extent this can replace modern tools, so let us talk about them now.
You can’t surprise anyone with an e-mail today. Email is maybe the oldest communication channel but to work remotely efficiently, it’s not enough to know how to get rid of spam or send a funny GIF (although sometimes a funny picture can be useful when you need to make a colleague smile). You need to be able to write clear and concise messages that will help you communicate your point of view quickly and efficiently.
8. Work chat
Email is a less tricky tool than the increasingly popular chat apps. Group chat services are like private rooms for exchanging messages in your company. You can send a quick message to anyone: the whole group or a specific person. Work chats help reduce confusion in email chains. Chat is a virtual place by the cooler, where everyone appears at least once a day. It makes it easier to establish communication with colleagues – both business and informal.
9. Video calls
Video calls, video chats or video conferences are another tool for establishing communication in companies with flexible schedules. You must have used Skype or Google Hangouts. The difference between regular conversations and business is that in the second case you must do it professionally. Clean up your environment, look presentable, get rid of visual noise in the background and focus on the task at hand.
Perhaps working with flexible schedules is what you need. But in addition to professional knowledge, you need to have at least a minimum of skills that will help you not only get a job, but also to do a good job. So, learn and improve, and you are sure to get the job of your dreams.