Please upgrade your web browser

These pages are built with modern web browsers in mind, and are not optimized for Internet Explorer 8 or below. Please try using another web browser, such as Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10, Internet Explorer 11, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari.

Before discussing work schedule change with supervisor


Megan Wollenberg Honolulu, HI

(Military spouse)

Current supervisors and leaders: I am going to request a time with my supervisor to discuss my work schedule and the possibility of changing the hours. Right now I work 0630-1500 and I am going to be requesting to change it to approximately 0800-1700. The reason being, I need to drop my kids off at school.

My spouse and I have exhausted all options in looking at possibilities on how to work around the kids’ school schedule and my work schedule.

Any recommendations for me as I prepare for this discussion and set it up with my supervisor?

16 July 2019 8 replies General



Byron Andrews Houston, TX

Hi- others have made most of my points, I will just add this:
1- When you request the meeting, indicate up front its to discuss a possible schedule change. I HATED it when an employee made an advance request for a meeting with me without giving a clue what it was about...fearing they were going to lay a steaming pile of ___ on me like an EEO complaint, resignation, etc. Would you prefer your boss tell you "Megan, I need to meet with you to discuss something" -or- "Megan, I'd like to talk to you about a new project next week". Just can set the tone for an uptight, or relaxed boss.
2- There must have been a reason for the early hours to begin with. Address that reason(s) first and foremost. If you cant come up with reasonable solutions, you might want to have a plan B in mind, like a transfer to a different position, etc.

Best of luck

7 August 2019 Helpful answer


cathy salerno Skillman, NJ

Hi Megan, I agree with the others who state that many organizations are keen to help great employees balance home and work responsibilities. That said, I would suggest to think about what the downside of your new hours would be and try to brainstorm some solutions that you could bring to the conversation. That goes a long way in getting to "yes"!


Gail Bovy Middleton, WI

I would present the change as to how the supervisor will benefit and why you are requesting the change. Benefits might include: the change provides greater coverage in the program, allows me to interact with the customer base (early of late). What is the history of past requests being granted? If they were denied - why? stay away from those traps...... not sure where you work but a reasonable accomodation is another route but if pursued after a no then it looks bad. But its always an option


Lyn Snyder Tempe, AZ

Try rehearsing your request as well as how you would answer her responses. Example: My 0630-1500 was working, but the timing required to get my kids ready, fed, and dropping them off to their various schools before work is extremely difficult.

As you stated: My husband and I have exhausted all other options (now list all of them for your supervisor). My workload at 0630-0800 is not time sensitive and ___ coworker informed me she can get it done without any hardship on her part.

I will be able to complete ___ project as well as finish ____ coworkers work that arrives later in the afternoon.

This emphasizes the benefits and minimizes any disruptions to the workload to coworkers. Hope these examples help you get your desired schedule.


chad vaughn Crofton, MD


BLUF: You will need to communicate the benefit to the organization, while mitigating any disruption to your and the organization's workflow, mission accomplishment, communication, etc...

You play in integral part of the organization. Therefore, I recommend communicating your personal/family stressors may be changing you, your family, work effectiveness, etc..., then concisely communicate your value to the organizational benefit.

As a parting thought, you must know your supervisor. Does he/she focus only on the mission? Is he/she focused on "his/her" people and companions their concerns...etc? This will provide you important insight into the most effective way to address your schedule change.


Matthew Disher Milford, OH

Great question Megan.
This happens a lot. I'd be prepared to discuss the idea that this will simply make you more efficient wherein the alternative is that you're scrambling to make things work.
If this workplace has people working on different schedules and it doesn't upset any sort of balance - I can't imagine that it would be an issue.
Modern workplaces are getting better at offering productive employees some different options. Looks like you're still going to be doing the work...just need to bump it a few hours. Doesn't sound unreasonable.


Chuck Burger King Of Prussia, PA

Megan, I agree completely with Clifford and would add that many employers are keen to address work-life balance issues for the reasons he states. The outcome is really situational dependent but there may be other workable solutions if you dig deep enough.

Please let us know how it works out an good luck!


Clifford Gardner Gordo, AL

Hi Megan - Yours is somewhat of a loaded question as the ease of negotiating a schedule change is directly dependent upon the amount of effort the requested change would require of others and how it will impact the organization overall. For instance, if a colleague is waiting on you to arrive so they can leave, or if your shift change would create a gap in coverage of some sort, this will be harder to sell than if little impact is felt by others. The job market is strong right now, so leaders do not want to lose good people and suffer the consequences of having to hire and train someone new to replace you. Any time a staff member comes to me with such a request, I'm immediately thinking "oh gosh, what can I do to help them successfully balance work and personal life so I don't lose a great resource." Try to paint the change as a win-win. Also be ready to give up something in return (that you can live with) as a bargaining tool. Never be afraid to ask for something. Fell free to message me with more specifics if you'd like for more detailed talking points. Good luck!

Your Answer

Please log in to answer this question.

Sign Up

You can join as either a Veteran or an Advisor.

An Advisor already has a career, with or without military experience, and is willing to engage with and help veterans.
Sign Up as an Advisor.

A Veteran has military experience and is seeking a new career, or assistance with life after service.
Sign Up as a Veteran.