There are some major advantages to working remotely, and if you want to realize them, it may be time to approach your supervisor about the possibility.
One reason people want to work at home is to avoid a long commute, which can be a drain on both performance at work and personal life. Another popular reason for work remotely is flexibility. People raising children have to get them to and from school, the doctor, or various appointments. The flexibility that comes with a remote work situation allows for people to take care of job duties at a more convenient time, achieving the same outcomes as if they were in the office during normal working hours.
The realities of working remotely
Even though there are many positive aspects, remote employees face difficulties their office-based peers do not. In general, remote workers are expected to be available for more than just the standard 8-hour workday. Also, an intermittent or down internet connection can make getting work done very difficult.
The reality is – working remotely can be great, but it often doesn’t line up with unrealistic fantasies of galivanting around the world, doing the occasional bit of work on a tropical beach somewhere. Often, you’re indoors, sitting in front of a computer just as you would do in a traditional office setting.
Pitching remote work to your boss
The best approach to pitching anything, including remote work, is to consider the pitch from the other person’s point-of-view. What do they want to hear? What’s in it for them? What concerns are they going to have?
If you’re pitching a remote work arrangement, one major benefit for your boss is increased availability. Being available early in the morning or late at night means you can handle dealings across multiple time zones.
Another benefit for your boss is less overhead. You don’t need a full-time workstation if you’re not there all the time.
Finally, you can mention how a flexible work arrangement will make you a happier, more productive and more loyal employee. You’re much less likely to look for another job if you’re current one is keeping you satisfied.
You’ll also need to address your boss’ concerns, including your ability to collaborate with others, report progress toward goals and respond to any problems that crop up.
Negotiating the arrangement
If you’re currently coming into work on a full-time basis, switching to a full-time remote work arrangement may be a hard sell, and you may have to negotiate. Asking for a trial period makes it easier for your boss to say yes and once they see the benefits of the arrangement, they will be more likely to make it permanent.
Another approach is to ask for a part-time telecommuting arrangement, such as telecommuting on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This would allow your boss to continue to have face-to-face contact with you while allowing you to handle personal obligations during your telecommute periods.
At SSI, we help talented professionals find the employment situations that are best for both their personal and professional lives. If you’re unsatisfied with your current working situation, please contact us today to find out how we can help.