If you’ve been following the remote work movement that’s happening on a global scale, it’s obvious that remote work is on the rise. But going remote doesn’t have to mean leaving your current job if it’s one that you love. You may be able to negotiate remote arrangements with your existing employer.
We’re riding the wave here at Remote Work Hub; connecting job seekers with remote roles offered by forward-thinking employers the world over. And the majority of roles can give you the flexibility to work remotely from wherever you are happiest – provided there’s good WiFi of course!
But transitioning to remote work doesn’t necessarily mean you have to ditch the office job you currently love and start hunting for a remote role with another company.
If you really love the company you work for but hate the commute and no longer take pleasure in the office antics and watercooler conversations, then perhaps you can negotiate with your boss to make your current role remote.
Great idea, right?
But before you get too excited, your boss might need some convincing that this arrangement can also benefit the company. Many employers yet to transition to a remote-friendly workplace have trust issues and still hold onto the mindset that people working away from the office aren’t as productive without a boss looking over their shoulder.
We know that this is not the case, by the way – but if your boss is a little ‘old school’ then you might need a well-thought out case in order to convince your employer that remote work can work. Better still, that remote work can improve the way you work so they reap the benefits in more ways than one.
So, if you’d like to go remote with your existing job then here are our guidelines to help make that happen.
Be Prepared and Gather Evidence To Support Your Case
Know what you are in for
Many of us dream of a 2 hour work day and tapping away at a laptop while relaxing on the beach. But remote work is rarely that – it’s still work! It’s important you have realistic expectations of what will be required of you in order to make it work. How will you overcome feelings of loneliness and isolation working away from your office colleagues? How will you keep yourself motivated? How will you manage your workload and not fall into the trap of overworking? The rewards when working remotely can be tremendous but knowing what some of the challenges are upfront can help you to overcome any obstacles to success and ensure you use remote working to your best advantage.
Determine whether your job can be done just as effectively, remotely
Not every job is suitable for remote work – the very nature of some roles will still require them to be performed from the company’s central office. You should evaluate whether your job can be done remotely. Draw up a spreadsheet, type up everything you do and flag anything that might be tricky to deliver remotely. Think about ways you could handle that work so you have well-thought out options to present to your employer.
Ensure you have a conducive work environment away from the office
There’s no point rallying to go remote if you don’t have a conducive work environment away from the company office. Do you have an office area setup at home? Do you have a fast and reliable computer and Internet connection? If not, you really need to get that sorted out before you ask to work remotely. You could work from a coffee shop or coworking space occasionally, but majority of the time you’ll be working from home. So make sure you have the right setup there.
Know the systems and tools to make it work
Do you have the necessary systems and tools to go remote with your job? Do you need to purchase or learn new software? Once again, be sure to think about all of these things upfront so you’re fully prepared and understand what your investment might need to be.
Know the playing field
Understand what the company’s current policies might be regarding remote work. Is this something completely new to them, or are there already other team members working remotely? Do they hire freelancers for certain roles? Find out how comfortable they might be with the prospect of working remotely before you begin your case. And if possible, speak to existing remote workers in the company to ask how they managed to negotiate their remote arrangement.
Gather some data
To strengthen your request, get some stats around remote work including the cost benefits, increases in productivity, improvements in employee engagement etc. And find out how other companies are embracing this new way of working – particularly those in your industry. When your employer sees their competitors leading the way, they might be more inclined to take notice.
Brush up on your Negotiation Skills
If you have an inkling that your employer is not going to be open to remote working then be sure to brush up on your negotiation skills. A negotiation can sometimes involve compromise. So while your boss may not be keen on the remote arrangement, you might be able to agree on other options that still benefit you and the company. For example, a trial run for a month or working remotely for a few hours a week. Strong skills in negotiation will help you to deliver your case and find a win-win solution.
Deliver your pitch
Having done all your homework, considered all the options and feeling certain you know how you can make remote work a success, you’re ready to develop your sales pitch. Here’s the approach we recommend you take:
Write a proposal
You might think this is unnecessary, but if you write a proposal it shows your boss you are taking this seriously and have fully considered what this means to you and the company. When you present your case in this way, either in a document or slide presentation, you’ll increase your chances of getting the result you want.
In your proposal be sure to include:
- Your suggested work schedule.
- How you’ll communicate and work on tasks/projects.
- How the remote arrangement will benefit the company.
- Stats on remote work and how other companies are making it work.
Find The Right Time
Once you have your proposal ready, it’s time to meet with your boss. But don’t ask for a meeting in front of other employees and avoid just dropping into your boss’ office unannounced. Setup a meeting in advance and tell them you would like to discuss your role. It’s important to deliver your case at the right time, like right after you’ve successfully completed a task or project.
Have The Right Attitude
Approach your meeting with a win-win attitude and be confident promoting your case. Your goal is to make your role remote and your employer’s goal is to have a highly motivated and productive employee. Don’t rush straight into the request to work remotely. Build your case – provided you’ve given evidence to support your claims, it will be much harder for your boss to turn you down.
Best of luck!