A shift change at work is a difficult thing to request from the boss, especially when it is a position where there is no room for another shift. However, asking for a shift change through a formal letter is possible.
Inconveniences are unforeseen events that arise at any time and with which we have to deal, so it is often necessary to request a shift change to the afternoon, morning, or evening, depending on the worker’s occupation and conditions for this modification to be carried out.
What is a work schedule change?
A change of work schedule is a modification in the employee’s plan, who cannot continue working at their agreed schedule, either because it is difficult for them to get to work or because they have other obligations, such as studying or taking the children to school, for example.
The schedule change is not a change in the number of hours but in the agreed work schedule. For instance, instead of working from 9 am to 3 pm, the employee may request a change from 12 pm to 6 pm.
What are the types of schedule changes?
There are different reasons an employee may need to change their schedule, which can be for any of the following schedule changes.
When working remotely, you can request a schedule change at the office so that you can work from home, as long as the number of working hours is respected.
Flextime means the employee can work in an office or at home at any time without strictly needing to comply with the agreed schedule. The employee is the one who decides when to sit down to work; thus, they will be able to accommodate their time according to their schedule.
This change implies that the employee works fewer hours per day but more days per week. For example, if the employee works from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 3 pm, they can request to work from 9 am to 2 pm and ask for a change from Monday to Saturday to cover the remaining overtime.
Conversely, they may also request to work more hours to have a day off. For example, work from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
What should a schedule change letter contain?
The time change request letter should be written carefully, without losing any detail, and giving concrete reasons why you need to change your working hours or days. Although there is no specific order for writing this letter, it should be simple and brief so as not to bore you with too many explanations and without going into too much detail.
The letter can be divided into two simple paragraphs.
Introduce yourself, and provide information about your job position, contact details, working hours, and date. Then, greet cordially and explain why you need a shift change, supporting these reasons, but you should always be concise.
In the second paragraph, you can list your work achievements to let the boss know that you have always been attentive and available for whatever the company needs. If you have them, you can attach awards or recommendations that help you show that you have been a great employee in the years you have been with the company.
Remember that the letter should always have a positive narrative, looking to the future without criticizing anyone. If the schedule change is due to a bad relationship with another employee, it is best to reserve your opinions, as this could speak ill of you and it is not professional at all.
What should I consider when requesting a schedule change?
Before writing a letter requesting a schedule change, you should consider several aspects of your job so as not to get your hopes up. This way, you will be prepared if you get a negative response.
- Find out about the vacancies available in your work schedule.
- Make sure the schedule change is for the same job you have been doing.
- Find out if you must have higher qualifications and a complete résumé to change your schedule.
- Find out about available schedules.
- Find out if you can opt for another alternative or more flexible work method.
- Ask if you can change your schedule for a certain period.
Below, you can download some models of letters requesting a schedule change.
How to request a schedule change at work?
Although there is no agreed structure, as mentioned above, you can make your letter based on your time availability and following this structure:
- Explain in detail and briefly what you need
Before writing the letter to your boss, you must have a solution to propose to your request, so you will avoid wasting your employer’s time. In addition, providing an explicit request makes it easier for the boss to respond to your request. For example, explain if you want to change the schedule to have more days off, or work less and for more days per week.
You should be as clear and precise as possible without beating around the bush. The letter should be brief but without leaving out any details that could help you get what you need.
- The request must be coherent
Identify by your means the chances you can change your work schedule for another. For example, if the company works from Monday to Friday, you will not be able to request a change of fewer hours for more days since there are restrictions in this regard. The same applies to the type of work: if the company does not allow you to work from home, making this request will not make sense.
It is advisable that, before talking to your boss, you find another employee, preferably from human resources, to advise you on the company’s work schedules and flexibility. Knowing the company’s policy makes your letter requesting a schedule change as consistent and realistic as possible.
- Schedule a meeting
After informing yourself about the possibilities of changing your work schedule, write in the letter your intention to meet with the manager at a time and place when the boss can. Once you agree to the meeting and it is time to complete, state your proposal for the schedule change.
- State your expectations
Once the manager has accepted and the day of the meeting arrives, you should state your case and give reasons so that the boss understands the need for the schedule change and how important it is to you.
Now that you have time and are face to face with the manager, tell in detail (though be sure to avoid unnecessary comments) your expectations about the schedule change, such as shift, days, office location (if there is more than one branch of the company) and mode of work.
- Benefits for the employer
It is great to state why your boss would benefit from this schedule change and the work team. How would changing your shift help?
- Provide accurate expectations
After discussing the various details of the schedule change, how it would benefit the manager and the team, and why you need this change, you should state your expectations as precisely and clearly as possible. This will allow the manager to understand the need for the shift change.
If the manager approves your request and you can change your schedule, be sure to let them know that you will not fail at your job and that they will not regret giving you this opportunity. For example, you can comment on how your work will continue in the company and that you will improve your performance and productivity thanks to this change since you will have more freedom and fewer worries in the agreed schedule.
- Be professional
If your boss approves your request for a schedule change, show them that you will fulfil all work tasks. For example, if your boss allows you to change your schedule and, instead of working from 9 am to 3 pm, you will work from 10 am to 4 pm, you must always be punctual and show your commitment and appreciation for the schedule change.
Another example could be that they allow you to work from home instead of going to the office. In this case, log on to the company’s platform a few minutes earlier or be on time, so the boss notices that you are serious about the time change.
Also, if, for example, you have to make a video call, dress accordingly and always be on time. Always act as if you are working in the office. This will allow the boss to notice your commitment to the job.
- “Request Letter to Boss for Shift Timing Change in Office — Sample Letters.” Sample Letters, 29 Nov. 2021, https://www.foundletters.com/miscellaneous-letters/request-letter-to-boss-for-shift-timing-change-in-office/.
- “How to Request a Change in Job Title | Work – Chron.Com” Work – Chron.Com, https://work.chron.com/request-change-job-title-9250.html