As we adjust to a new normal on what seems like a daily basis, you may be thinking about making some permanent changes to the way you work. Whether you’ve been working remotely or you’re still heading to your regular workplace, it’s clear that the global COVID-19 lockdown responses have shed some light on who qualifies as “essential” personnel, or perhaps, what qualifies as a billable work hour.
If you are looking for an opportunity to ask your employer for a remote position, the current situation has set you up pretty well to do so. Here are a few tips on how to enter into an engaging, productive dialogue with your employer and, hopefully, score you some remote hours.
Present Your Reasoning
You may have several reasons for wishing be working remotely such as offsetting the cost of childcare, giving yourself more freedom to invest in friends and hobbies, or reducing the financial and environmental impacts of your daily commute. We can’t tell you what your reasons are, but you’ll (of course) need to have one in order to create a convincing argument.
Organize your reasoning before you meet with your employer so that you can firmly establish your position. Here, it doesn’t hurt to have the numbers on your side; cite a few examples of the ways by which others work remotely and make it clear that you believe you can be just as productive — if not more — when given remote privileges.
Demonstrate Your Drive
If your employer is unfamiliar with the dynamics of managing a team that is working remotely , then you will need to demonstrate that you are not just looking for one giant lunch break, so to speak. “Productivity” is generally the operative word here; make a list of your short-term and long-term goals with your company and think about the benefits of being able to achieve those goals on your own time.
Present your list of goals to your employer and argue that, given the additional flexibility of a remote position, you’ll be able to increase your productivity by having more time and space to yourself. If you can, note any ways by which a remote workforce could save the company money in the short or long term; that’s usually a pretty good way to pique some interest.
Establish A Routine
After you’ve argued for your increased productivity and potential savings, this is the part where you need to start managing expectations. Exactly how remote would you like to be? Full time or part time? Should your employer pay for your internet services or home office equipment as well as (or instead of) your on-site office equipment? Should you be physically present for meetings and conferences or would it be reasonable to utilize virtual meeting software instead?
It’s best to think about your expectations ahead of time so that you have an opinion when you present ideas to your employer. Decide what is negotiable for you and what isn’t; for example, suppose you’d like to be working remotely 80% of the time, but could do 60% if necessary. Make these decisions ahead of time such that you’re ready to negotiate.
After you’ve nailed down the logistics and an agreed-upon schedule, you and your employer should decide together what your deliverables should look like moving forward. Make sure you are both clear on how often you should check in with each other, what your timelines and deadlines look like, and how to benchmark your productivity and progress. Simply arguing for increased productivity won’t stand for long if you’re unable to follow through; make sure you give yourself ample opportunities to prove yourself.
As an increasing number of workers worldwide transition to remote positions, the argument for remote work is becoming easier and easier to make. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to craft your own case in order to up your chances of snagging a remote position. Good luck!
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