Tell your boss why you want this change. Say how much you love your work but that you need more control over your time. Then provide evidence for how the new situation will not detract from your performance; indeed you believe the company will benefit because you will be less stressed and more committed to your work.

We’ve shown you the national data on how flexibility increases productivity. Now make that specific to your situation. You can use benchmarks as a concrete way to frame this fact. To show that you’ve thought this through, create a fairly detailed outline that is designed to show your boss that this is a positive move. You can use productivity measures, or you can simply use an ongoing project as your performance goal, outlining that after one month on your new schedule you’ll have completed specific parts of the project. Benchmarks like these will show in hard terms that the flexibility plan is a solid one. (We have some examples of just how to measure results later in this chapter.)

It can also be extremely helpful to find a way to frame your negotiations so that your flexible schedule helps solve a com­pany problem:

• In this uncertain economy, your company is going through budget issues, and you want to go part time. Your new schedule is a great way to help cut costs.

• Your company needs to extend its hours to deal with Europe and Asia, and you want to leave at 3 p. m. to pick the kids up from school. Offer to come in at 6 a. m. and solve their early-morning time needs.