Most new moms welcome a flexible schedule as a way to manage job and family, so knowing how to negotiate flexible work after maternity leave is a sanity-saver. Here’s the easy way to do it.
As you follow the Max Your Maternity Leave guide, you’ll see how you can weave a flexible work arrangement into your maternity leave plan—in the return-to-work section.
Or you may return to work on a regular schedule and negotiate a flexible schedule later. It depends on your circumstances.
The easiest way to request and negotiate flexible work after maternity leave is to use a proven fill-in-the-blank proposal template. The moms below each used one of my Flexible Work Proposal Packages. Be inspired by their success stories and know that you can follow in their path.
How to Negotiate Flexible Work After Maternity Leave
Karen Montagne won approval to 32 hours a week using the Part-time Proposal Package:
I’ve known for a while now that I’ve wanted to approach my boss about a 4-day work week after my return from maternity leave but didn’t feel I knew where to begin with my approach. Your website is a great resource…[later]…my proposal was accepted…your website and proposal package were a huge help. Karen Montagne, Vice President, US-Russia Business Council, Washington, DC
Kim Yates used the Telecommuting Proposal Package to change her manager’s mind:
When I first approached my manager about working from home one day a week upon my return to work [after maternity leave], she gave me a very chilly response.
Once my son came into the world a couple of months later, I knew that I had to bring up the subject again, but this time, with a very buttoned-up, well-thought-out plan. I found your website and purchased your telecommuting proposal template.
Last week I had lunch with my boss to review the proposal, and she did a complete 180! She actually laughed at how “comprehensive” my proposal was.
I return to work this week, and instead of feeling overwhelmed, I am actually looking forward to it! I attribute her change of heart to the [Work Options] proposal I submitted. Thank you! Kim Yates, Account Executive, Television Advertising Sales, Atlanta, Georgia
Angie McDonald got what she wanted—approval of a compressed workweek, full-time hours in four days a week:
I just had my first baby and before I left on maternity leave, I requested a compressed workweek. I was told no and that it wouldn’t work. While on leave, I came across your website and the [Compressed Workweek Proposal Package]. I hesitated…[and] was somewhat skeptical. [Then], I decided it was worth the risk.
I emailed it to my boss yesterday morning. By 3 pm, she called me to tell me I have her approval to work 4 days per week when I return from maternity leave. I want people to know that it is well worth the price. Thank you. Angie McDonald, Wichita, KS
Angie’s experience reflects what I mean when I say you can “easily” negotiate flexible work after maternity leave.
Amanda Nerone secured a telecommuting arrangement at her job while keeping her full-time hours:
I had been researching to write my own proposal and came across your offer [of the Telecommuting Proposal Package]. My bosses were impressed. They accepted my proposal to work half-day from home and half-day at the office every day. I just got back from maternity leave…thank you so much! Amanda Nerone, Branch Manager, Springfield, IL
So did Betsy Reddoch, giving her 8 to 10 hours more a week with her twin baby boys:
Thank you for both your Max Maternity Leave Proposal Template as well as your Telecommuting Proposal Package. I used them to create a plan for returning to work after the birth of my twins. My proposal was praised as highly professional by all the management personnel and HR representatives that reviewed it. I am the first person in my company’s corporate office to be granted a telecommuting arrangement.
I now work from home 4 days a week, only going in to the office once a week for a few face-to-face meetings. I am saving HOURS of commute time each week (8-10 hours), time that I now spend with my beautiful twin boys. I can’t imagine missing all their firsts, which thankfully I haven’t. Your plan gave me the boost I needed to ask for what I wanted—and get it! Your nominal fee turned out to be the best money I’ve probably ever spent. I love love love the results I achieved with your product! Betsy Reddoch, Sales Analyst, Oceanside, CA
Erika LaDousa got past a prior “no” using the Job Sharing Proposal Package.
I was coming off maternity leave and dreading putting my daughter in full-time day care. My company had shot down job sharing once before, but I used your proposal and presented it again. This time, they went for it! To quote one of my bosses, “Your proposal was extremely well done. It showed a depth of professionalism that caught my attention.” This was the BEST $ that I have spent! Erika LaDousa, Hotel Director of Catering, Minneapolis
Natasha Colonero successfully combined telecommuting and part-time hours using the popular pair of Proposal Packages:
I didn’t want to miss any of my son’s milestones…I purchased your proposal package and was brought back [from maternity leave] on a reduced schedule of 20 hours, 15 from home!…Without the use of such a user-friendly template and written advice, I don’t think I could have been granted such a flexible arrangement tailored to my family’s needs. Natasha Colonero, Accounting Department, Abbott Bioresearch, Shrewsbury, MA
Skeptical? So was Robin Whicker.
I had seen your website before, but thought, ‘Yeah right, like I am going to pay for some proposal sight-unseen!’ Yet on that particular day, [the price] seemed like a pretty good investment if I could get what I needed…
Your proposal outlined exactly what I needed. Within an hour I had plugged in my specific changes and handed it to my boss (this was about two weeks ago). This morning I spoke to him and he has agreed to all that I requested! I am ecstatic!
I am certain that the proposal is what convinced him that I was serious and put it into a format he could discuss with the higher-ups…you did cover several bases I hadn’t thought of…Thank you so much. Robin Whicker, Music Industry Account Executive, Nashville
Flexible work was a dream come true for Jenna Patrick:
As my maternity leave started to wind down and the thought of returning to work full-time loomed, I started to dream of the possibility of having more time to devote to being a wife and mother, although not really ready to completely leave the career that I had worked so hard to achieve.
I came across your Job Sharing Proposal Package and downloaded it out of curiosity. Well, I prepared my proposal using your template as a guide and made my pitch. And I got a “yes” within 10 minutes from my boss!
I can’t even begin to tell you how much this means to me. Thank you for showing me that my dream was possible! Jenna Patrick, Communications Coordinator, (pulp and paper industry), Courtenay, British Columbia
Angela Hunt got the reduced hours schedule she wanted after maternity leave using the Part-time Proposal Package.
…The Human Resource Manager said she was so impressed with my [reduced hours] proposal and how professional it was. She and my boss approved it…I am so excited to be able to spend that extra time with my baby. Angela Hunt, Advertising Sales Rep (publishing), Kansas City, MO
Tina Hinzman did, too.
After my second child was born, I wanted desperately to go back on to a reduced work week schedule, but I didn’t know where to begin. I searched the Internet and found the Proposal Package. I spent a few hours working on it; the template made it so easy! I can not imagine trying to create a proposal and thank goodness I didn’t have to.
I work in a very large company and reduced work weeks are not part of our world. I was so nervous, but I knew that with the support and backup I got from your template, I was completely prepared for whatever they would ask me. And I was. They were so impressed; I received several compliments on the proposal.
I am now working three days a week and I am loving it. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You gave me the tools I needed, the confidence to present it, and now I have a balanced personal and professional life. Tina Hinzman, Senior Work Process Tools Trainer, Ellicott City, MD
More Flex Success Stories…Could You Be Next?
I’m so excited I can hardly stand it! My professional proposal sealed the deal; honestly, my boss said she would not have even considered it had I not put together such a wonderful presentation. Thank you. Kate Ross, Field Marketing Manager, Orinda, CA. She used the Part-time Proposal Package
I had been procrastinating and didn’t know where to start the proposal. I didn’t have much time with a newborn around. It worked! I will be working 3 days per week. Heidi Partlowe, Environmental, Health and Safety Coordinator, Chandler, AZ. She used the Part-time Proposal Package
I found WorkOptions.com while on maternity leave and found it invaluable in proposing job sharing to my company since they had never done anything like that. I was able to make a strong case, all the details have been approved and I’ve started job sharing, allowing more time during the week with my infant daughter. I am excited that my employer saw the value in the proposal [package] and words cannot describe how much I appreciate your site providing me the tools to make that happen. Laurie Fleck, Sales Representative (pharmaceuticals), Atlanta, GA. She used the Job Sharing Proposal Package
After I had my baby, I knew I would be happier returning to work on a part time basis. So I downloaded your [Job Sharing Proposal Package]. It was easy to use and looked so professional. The proposal was accepted. I would highly recommend the template…It worked for me—this is the first position to be shared here! Dianne S. Hull, Assistant Director of Career Development, Saint Joseph’s University
The proposal worked! My boss agreed to let me work a three-day work week (much to my surprise). Now I’ll be able to spend more time at home with my new baby daughter, even as my maternity leave ends. I don’t think that things would have turned out the way they did if it weren’t for your part-time proposal package. Thank you so much. Kristen Jones, Senior Business Systems Analyst (financial industry), Franklin, Massachusetts. She used the Part-time Proposal Package
My boss has approved my request for a four-day work schedule when I return from maternity leave. And I’m able to retain my health benefits for the family and continue contributing to my 401k.
My only regret is that I didn’t purchase the proposal when I was pregnant with my first daughter back in 2004. I had requested a similar schedule back then, but it wasn’t nearly as professional nor taken seriously.
[With the Work Options Proposal Package], I love the way I was able to break down every aspect of my request and my boss was more than impressed! I highly recommend your proposals to anyone; money well spent! Carrie Lane, Account Executive (large independent insurance agency), Santa Cruz, California
Mia’s example demonstrates the importance of making your request with a formal proposal. She asked three times and only got approval after using the Part-time Proposal Package.
Before I went on maternity leave, I requested a reduced work schedule. The response was “we’ll think about it.”
I asked again during my maternity leave and got a flat out NO.
I was back to work full-time and struggling when a couple of coworkers recommended your product. I tried the [Part-time] proposal template and got a YES.
Now I have two full days to spend with my baby and in my household and personal duties. I can finally get some rest and it’s because your product helped me structure my request into something less nebulous than “can I work part time?”
THANK YOU! I’ll definitely refer people to your product so that they too can achieve a better work-life balance. Excellent tool! Mia Grisby, Sales Support Representative, Portland, Oregon
“Which one should I get?”
Okay, so you’re convinced and you also want to negotiate flexible work after maternity leave. But you might be wondering about which flexible work proposal package to choose.
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13 (NKJV)