For a lot of mothers, working hours can be a problem. Flexible working hours present an opportunity to combine your working life with your family life, ensuring that one is not compromised due to the demands of the other.
However, many people are unsure of their rights when it comes to working hours; a lot of women returning to work after maternity leave may not consider, or ask their employers for, a way to alter their 9 to 5. The opportunity to work flexibly will vary according to the sector and job type, for example those in field sales jobs or sales director jobs will have different elements of their roles which may determine whether they can feasibly work flexible hours or not.
But there is room for manoeuvre, and how you structure your working hours may depend on how you present your case to your employers and how well you know your rights as an employee.
If you are an employee rather than an agency worker, have worked for your employer for 26 weeks, and havenâ€™t made a previous request in the last 12 months for flexitime; then you are within your rights to request it. The amount of employees who would not even consider proposing a change to their working hours is significant, but the eligibility afforded by UK employment law makes it a reasonable and viable option.
Another thing to consider is the sector you work in, as sales jobs in the UK vary from sector to sector, and within these there are varied working patterns which may benefit from a different approach.
Many companies will have a culture that is resistant to change, and your employer can still reject your request for flexible hours if it makes good business sense. You need to make sure you make a good case for changing your working hours, and a reason for the company to change their policy or corporate culture.
Show analytically that your sales figures will benefit from time spent on your intended markets outside of the 9 to 5, and that a change in structure may rejuvenate sales and the productivity of your colleagues. For example many telesales jobs benefit from non-working hours, and a lot of online activity can be performed from home and easily monitored by your superiors; so flexible options are available if you can demonstrate that they are appropriate for your sector.
Flexible working hours take many forms, and for working mothers or mothers who wish to return to work there are numerous options to consider. Term-time hours make time available in the holidays, but can be demanding.
So annualised hours where your hours are calculated over the year is a good option if you want to have freer school holidays but not necessarily a strict term based routine. Job sharing is a good way to sell to your employer the idea that a reduction in your working hours wonâ€™t affect the productivity of your position, whilst staggered hours can make working every day fit around your responsibilities as a parent.
Whilst you may not make an immediate difference within the company you work for, you can start the ball rolling and make working in sales a more feasible possibility for yourself and other mums. Talk to your employer; show them the potential benefits of flexible hours, and you will strike a good balance between your career in sales and your life as a mum.