Whether you call it telecommuting or remote working, there’s no doubt that companies are increasingly cutting back on office time as a means of improving employee productivity. According to global workspace conglomerate IWG, at least 70% of workers clock one remote working session a week, with as many as 53% working remotely for half the week.
What’s more, within the next four years 60% of all workers are slated to be working in locations that don’t resemble a cubicle. Perhaps you’re stuck with an obstinate boss who refuses to bow to the trends of efficiency, or simply doesn’t see the value in allowing their employees to work remotely.
Fear not, for we’ve compiled four tips to convince your employer that remote working is the way to go.
Present The Remote Office Facts
Like any workplace negotiation, this needs to be approached tactfully, but firmly. At the end of the day, your employer is, by-and-large, concerned with the effect on the company’s bottom line. Create a compelling argument in favor of remote working, and you’re halfway there. There’s a wealth of publicly available data on how telecommuting benefits businesses, with staff retention and cost-cutting on overheads being two significant points that are likely to pique your superior’s interest.
Ditching the commute also means that your workday effectively starts earlier, allowing you to get more done. It’s vital that you frame your argument as one that benefits the company first and you, as the employee, second.
Prove That Your Job Isn’t Location-Dependent
It’s no good advocating for remote working if your post is one that requires you to be office-bound. While many companies across various disciplines are embracing location independence, the onus is on you to prove to your boss that you can work successfully from somewhere other than your office.
Account executives who have back-to-back client meetings scheduled daily might not make the best candidates, but designers and developers who sit huddled behind a screen all day could do their duties online without the need for an office. Strengthen your case by proving your value as an employee, showing that you can be productive whether you’re in or out of office.
Suggest A Remote Work Trial
With the legwork out of the way, suggest a trial period to see how a remote working arrangement would benefit all parties involved. This trial is an excellent way to manage any doubt or hesitation around a remote working arrangement – a way to test the waters. You could suggest starting with one or two days a week for a few weeks, and if all goes well, make a case to increase the time spent out of office.
Alternatively, you could suggest blocks of time within a month dedicated to remote working – say, one or two weeks out of the month. It’s vital that you establish expectations upfront and be transparent with your schedule, as this will prove that you’re an effective communicator intent on working in the best interests of the company.
Create The Remote Work Scenario
Selling the idea of remote working comes down to creating a proposition that your employer can’t refuse. They will, inevitably, have questions around how this works in practical terms. What kind of solutions will you lean on to enable a location-independent workflow? Collaborative apps like Slack are perfect for team communications, while Zoom is a tried-and-trusted video conferencing product that keeps remote teams in touch. Come to an explicit agreement on when you’re expected to be online and the tools that you’ll be using to keep your team on task.
Above all, keep an open mind when bringing this up, as this approach will serve you well in your quest for office freedom. Be flexible and hopefully, with these four tips, you can take the idea of remote working from a pipe dream to fully-fledged reality.
Written by Stuart Hendricks