Flexible working arrangements example email template

Sometimes, employees need a personalized work schedule to accommodate personal and family issues. In most companies, employees can request flexible working arrangements by emailing their manager. You can help them by providing a flexible working arrangements request template. Write a dedicated email template for your company by following our simple instructions or, if you want a faster solution or some inspiration, download our template for free.

Part 1

Five examples of flexible working arrangements

To maintain efficient employee management, you need to limit the types of working schedules you agree with within your business. Allow employees to choose a type of flexible working arrangement from a predefined list. You can decide on new kinds of arrangements only in exceptional situations but, as a rule, stick to the types you defined. Make sure the management approves the list before communicating it to the employees. Also, make sure you notify your workforce each time you update or modify the list. Here are the most common types of flexible working arrangements used in companies around the world:

  1. Full-time remote work – Many companies accept for the employees to work full-time outside the office. Full-time remote work allows you to hire internationally without the costs of relocation. People can work from their home city or country and have all the benefits of a local employee. As a manager, you will not have to worry about them being late in the morning, stuck in traffic. Also, employees from different countries can have different public holidays, which helps you avoid time-off clashes and maintain a sustained work pace.
  2. Part-time remote work – In this scenario, employees can ask to work remotely just a part of the working week. Companies commonly offer 1-2 days of remote work per week. Flexible companies allow staff to work from home on request, while others maintain a fixed schedule for remote work (e.g., Friday, a different day of the week for groups of employees, the first day of each month, etc.)
  3. Customized working hours within a larger window – Another common type of flexible working arrangement is to allow your people to choose their working hours in a larger time interval. For example, their 8-hour working schedule can begin anytime between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. Customized working hours are often used in big cities where commuting for work is standard practice. Employees can choose to come early in the morning to avoid traffic; come to work late in the morning after dropping their kids at school; come to work in the afternoon. Again, you can use this type of flexible working arrangement for each day of the week, for specific days, or on request.
  4. Customized condensed work schedules – Some employees prefer to work longer shifts to have more free time. For example, some prefer to work 10 hours shifts from Monday to Thursday and have Friday off. There are also companies in which long shifts are inevitable, and therefore employees must have customized condensed work schedules (e.g., hospitals, industrial plants, etc.) Especially part-time and project-based employees prefer to group their working hours and usually require this type of flexible working arrangements.
  5. Personalized working hours – When you have both full-time and part-time employees, you can allow part-time employees to personalize their working hours. If they complete their weekly working hours, you can enable them to come to work on a personalized schedule. Personalized working hours is a type of flexible working arrangement that works very well for internships, student practice, project-based jobs, and remote work.

Part 2

Flexible work arrangements best practices

Flexible work programs should have clear guidelines and regulations. To increase productivity and work relationships, it’s essential to provide equal treatment for all employees. Therefore, evaluate your workforce and company’s policy and establish some ground rules before implementing a flexible work culture. Keep in mind that what works for a company doesn’t necessarily work for yours. Tailor the flexible working arrangements for your workforce. The following best practices will help you get started.

  • Decide which types of flexible working arrangements fit each position in your company. Discuss them with the management before informing the employees.
    If you just start implementing flexible working arrangements in your organization, start with one or two types of flexible work programs alongside the standard schedule. Evaluate each position and see what types of programs work for you. Remember that you have to offer the same flexibility to all employees and try to define a flexible schedule for everybody. Discuss your conclusions with the management team and make sure they approve them before making any decision. Good communication is the beginning of a successful action.
  • Make sure the company sustains flexible working arrangements by providing tools for efficient communication and collaboration. Provide training on how to use them.
    Some flexible working arrangements won’t succeed if people don’t have the proper technology or don’t know how to use it. For example, remote work requires mobile devices, secure connections, and collaborative tools. Condensed work schedules may require night transportation. Personalized working hours may require an absence tracking system. Each type of flexible working arrangement comes with a technical challenge.
  • Each type of flexible working arrangement should have its guide, and all employees should be aware of it. Notify employees each time you update the guides.
    To make things clear for everybody, write straightforward guidelines for flexible work programs and make them available to your workforce. Instead of waiting for employees to request a particular work schedule, provide them with information about the approved flexible working arrangements and the conditions required for each of them. Transparency is the easiest way to boost morale, increase motivation, and help people being responsible.
  • Develop productivity and performance metrics. Monitor and evaluate the effects of implementing flexible working arrangements periodically.
    Don’t wait too long to check that flexible programs work. Especially if they’re a novelty in your organization, start with a test period (e.g., a month, a trimester, etc.) and register data. HR analytics will help you keep an eye on essential processes and spot trends. If you observe a decrease in performance, motivation, or work satisfaction, take action fast.
  • Provide consistency, transparency, and equity. Even when working on different work schedules, people should feel acknowledged, non-discriminated, and motivated.
    Employee management requires constant people monitoring. It’s vital to provide the same benefits, perks, and opportunities to all employees. For example, people working from home should feel included and part of the organization as much as those who come to the office. Meetings, training, and celebrations should consist of everyone, whether present in person or via phone. Communication and work relationships shouldn’t suffer when people have different work schedules.

Part 3

What to write in a flexible working arrangements email?

Flexible working arrangements are something most employees require at some point. There are multiple reasons for this, from child care to illness, inability to commute in some hourly intervals, and others. As long as flexible working arrangements don't affect the employee's productivity and can be accommodated by the team, the managers usually approve them. They have a large impact on employee's work satisfaction, loyalty towards the company, and overall well-being.

The flexible working arrangements request email should include important information such as the reason for requesting a flexible work schedule, how this change would impact the team and task planning, the starting date of the new work schedule, and all details concerning the new schedule. Check out the following steps to write a flexible working arrangements request email:

  1. Email subject - The email should have a relevant subject such as "Request for flexible working arrangements" to allow the manager to prioritize his/her mail and be responsive.
  2. The reason for the request - A flexible working arrangements request email should include a short description of the request. In the description, the employee should mention details about the request, such as the reason for which she/he requests flexible working arrangements (e.g., illness, impossibility to get to work, personal and family issues, COVID quarantine, etc.).
  3. The conditions of the flexible working arrangements  - The employee has to mention how the new work schedule will look like (e.g., working days, working hours, work from home). Also, the manager will want to know how this change will impact the team and task planning. Advice the employee to consider all aspects of this change and assure the manager his/her productivity won't be affected.
  4. End formulas - The employee should end a flexible working arrangements request email with the willingness to discuss any possible issues, provide relevant documents that support his/her request, and answer any concerns the manager might have.

If you want a paperless office and your employees' well-organized records, we recommend you to consider LeaveBoard. Using our employee self-service, the employees submit any type of requests from anywhere and using any device. All persons involved are automatically notified, and the employee receives a response very fast. Sounds good? That's more! LeaveBoard is entirely free for businesses with less than nine employees.

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Subject line: Request for flexible working arrangements

Dear Sir/Madam,

I want to request to work a flexible work arrangement starting with [date]. Due to [child care],[personal reasons]/[illness]/[family problems]/[inability to come to the office] I am forced to [vary my starting and finishing times]/[reduce working hours]/[change working days]/[alternate work from home with work from the office].

My current work schedule is from [Monday] to [Friday], from [9 AM] to [5 PM]. I would like to change it from [Monday] to [Thursday], from [8 AM] to [6 PM].

This change in my working pattern [will] / [will not] affect my colleagues. I’m ready to work with my team to accommodate any impact they may receive due to my change of schedule. 

This change in my working pattern [will] / [will not] affect task planning. I’m ready to work with my team to manage any possible delays in the assigned tasks.

I’m willing to discuss any other possible alternatives that work for both of us. As soon as the reasons behind my request are no longer active, I’ll return to my regular schedule.

Thank you for considering this request. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Best regards,

[Your name]

Part 4

Flexible working arrangements letter

When you're looking for a sample letter request for flexible working hours, we have an example you can customize according to your needs. Just download the Microsoft word template and submit the request to your manager.

Download the Flexible working arrangements letter

Part 5

Simplify the way you request and track remote work

If you would like to track when your employees are working remotely and when they are sick or away for vacation, we recommend that you implement within your business a cloud-based HR solution that helps with ensuring continuity within your business. Your workforce will have access to employee portals, from where they can request remote days with few clicks. Moreover, with each request, an automatic email is being sent to the manager for approval, the entry is added to the Outlook 365 calendar. Give it a try today.

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