5 Ways On How To Ask For Less Hours At Work?

how to ask for less hours at work

Working smart is better than working hard. If you didn’t know that, you’re not alone. You might need or desire to reduce your working hours for numerous reasons. For instance, you might have responsibilities that must come first.

 Maybe you would work four days a week instead of five. However, don’t assume that you’ll need to leave your current job to make it work.

Asking your boss for fewer hours at work seems complicated, but making a successful request is possible. Long working hours can also affect your physical and mental health, not to mention your family life.

So without further ado, let’s get started and learn how to ask for less hours at work.

How To Ask For Less Hours At Work

Following are some simple steps you can take to make the process easier.

Do your research

How well-versed are you in the flexible work arrangements that your employer provides? Ask your coworker how they negotiated their perks with your employer if they have cut back on hours or created other flexible work arrangements.

When planning on how to ask for less hours at work ask others how they are managing their timelines and then see if it works for you. Create a proposal if the company doesn’t have any policies.  

Having a concrete plan in mind, whether a four-day workweek or leaving an hour earlier each day, demonstrates to your employer that you have given the matter some thought and that you don’t want to waste their time by making them come up with a solution.

Your employer will respect your work more if you appreciate your time and work. Describe how your idea will benefit your employer, division, or business. Be specific about the benefits of your idea and how it would work.

Remember that the most distinct advantage of cutting back on hours is increased productivity while you are working.

Talk to your boss

Talking to your boss about reducing your hours at work can be difficult, but it is necessary if you want to make any progress. It is essential to approach the conversation with a plan and ensure that you are well-prepared to have an honest and productive dialogue.

While thinking about how to ask for less hours at work, start by being honest about why you need or want to reduce your hours. You may be dealing with stress, family responsibilities, other job opportunities, or anything else – make sure to be clear about the circumstances. Be ready to discuss the proposed changes with specifics, such as the number of hours you want to reduce.

Also, don’t forget to offer alternative solutions. If you propose reducing your hours from full-time to part-time, consider suggesting ways to still contribute value to the company in the hours you will be working.

Explain your reasons

The best way to explain your reasons is to be honest, and provide tangible evidence of why reducing your hours would be beneficial. For example, if you are a student, you can explain that reducing your hours will give you more time to focus on your studies or if you are a parent, explain that you need more time to take care of your family.

When planning how to ask for less hours at work, you should also explain how you plan to make up for the reduction in hours. For example, you can make yourself available for extra hours on certain days, or if you work at a retail store, you could offer to train new employees or share your knowledge about the industry.

And in an office, you could offer to help train interns or proofread documents.

By providing tangible evidence and an actionable plan, your boss will likely understand and accept your request for fewer hours. Keep in mind, however, that no matter how good your reasons may be, there’s always a chance that your request will be denied.

In this case, it’s best to remain polite and try to negotiate a compromise that both parties can agree upon.

Timing Your Request

When deciding to ask for fewer hours, timing is key. Requesting fewer hours during the holidays, for instance, could burden your employer as they may not have time to find someone to cover your shifts. To avoid this, consider asking for fewer hours in the slower months of the year. If you need to take a few days off, your employer may be more willing to accommodate the request.

Additionally, think about how to ask for less hours at work in a way that fits in with the company’s workflow. For example, if you know that Monday mornings are usually hectic in your workplace and Thursday afternoons are typically quiet.

It might make sense to ask for fewer hours on Monday mornings and Thursday afternoons. It could help you achieve a win-win situation.

Offer to work from home

Working from home is becoming increasingly popular as it offers greater flexibility and control over how you spend your time. If you’d like to ask for fewer hours at work, you could consider contributing to work from home.

When talking to your boss about how to ask for less hours at work, explain why it would be beneficial for both you and the company. Some reasons you could use include the cost savings for the company (no need to rent an office or cover travel expenses) and increased productivity due to the lack of office distractions.

Additionally, explain that with your increased flexibility, you’ll be able to take on more responsibility and make a greater contribution to the team.

Suppose your boss agrees to let you work from home and set up a plan that works for both of you. Make sure to be transparent about your work schedule, availability, and communication methods so there are no misunderstandings.

Remember, when planning how to ask for less hours at work, establishing boundaries between work and personal life is essential to maintain a healthy balance.


Asking for fewer hours at work can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. There are several strategies for how to ask for less hours at work, including talking to your boss, giving notice, offering to work from home, and explaining your reasons.

When planning how to ask for less hours at work, remember that no matter what strategy you choose, remember that asking for fewer hours is entirely within your rights.

Communicating your needs to your employer can create a win-win situation that benefits you and your company.


What are the benefits of reducing work hours?

The benefits of reducing work hours can be pursuing your passions, focusing on your health, spending time with family and enhancing your social life.

What are the disadvantages of reducing work hours?

The disadvantage can be to decrease your income, slow your career growth, affect work relationships and influence your abilities.

Is it wrong to think about how to ask for less hours at work?

No, it is never wrong to ask for reduced working hours, as long as you have compelling reasons.


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