"Flexibility is freedom," declares Allison O'Kelly, founder/CEO of Mom Corps. She suggests learning your company's specific options for flexible schedules before approaching your boss. "Check with your human resources department before speaking with your manager, to see if there is a flexible work plan in place. Before diving in headlong, educate yourself on the mutual benefits of flexible work options and be prepared to do the same for your manager."
Heather R. Huhman, founder and president of Come Recommended, is a firm believer in telecommuting. "Many employees are beginning to telecommute to improve their work-life balance," says Huhman. "Many jobs require work that can be completed from home, so talk to your boss about testing out telecommuting for a day or two. If you check in regularly via Skype, e-mail or phone and complete all tasks on time, both the employer and the employee will benefit from the increased freedom telecommuting provides." Bonus: You can wear your American flag PJs all day.
Give the best performance
It’s no surprise that top performers are given the most leeway. “If you are exceeding the current standards for your job and contributing to your boss’s goals, then you can often ask for and receive more autonomy, because you have built a reserve of trust from your manager,” explains retired clinical professor John Millikin. “The more your manager sees that he or she does not need to manage you closely, the more freedom will be allowed.”