How can I negotiate hybrid work schedule? 

Dear Mira,

Now that we are back in the office, I feel that the toll of commuting on my productivity and energy is higher than I expected. Working three days from home, instead of 5 – sounds great to me! Next week, I will talk to my boss about keeping my commute days to twice a week. How can I prepare to negotiate hybrid work schedule that fits my needs?

Thanks, Selda

Dear Selda, when preparing for any kind of negotiations – the first thing you need to think about is what you want. The second thing is what you don’t want. Imagine all possible scenarios in which your boss comes with a counteroffer. What kind of counteroffer would that be? You are preparing to negotiate hybrid work schedule. Let’s say that your boss comes with an offer of you working four days a week from the office. Would that be acceptable for you or not? 

Next thing to think about is what are the interests of the person you negotiate with? Make a list of those interests and see how they intersect or match with your interests. Maybe your boss wants to make sure that you have enough interactions with the rest of the team? Or maybe that you feel included in the office politics, while your own priorities are to feel energised and fit to do your work. The way you set your goals will have big influence on how you will negotiate hybrid work. More important your goal is to you, more impactful arguments you should use.

Prepare a list of arguments that you can use during the negotiation process. Write down possible ‘no’ that you can get and think of a counter argument. If the answer of your boss is for example, “If I say yes to you, then I would have to say yes to everyone else” – think of what kind of argument you can use to stay in the negotiation. Be flexible, but keep in mind your goal and why you wanted to negotiate hybrid work schedule. Remember that some negotiations take longer time than the others. If you get a couple of ‘no’, you can also ask for a (coffee) break to adjust your strategy and come up with more arguments.


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