Remote workers have greatly benefited from working from home as opposed to having to do the daily commute to and from the office.
But companies such as Apple and JP Morgan Chase are requiring their employees to make the shift back to the office. The problem is that so many employees enjoy the freedoms associated with working remotely and do not want to return to the office.
Employers today are still wrestling with the “Great Resignation”: 4.3 million workers in the United States terminated their jobs in August, while 39% of workers stated they would consider leaving if their employers will not continue to accept remote work opportunities.
The last year has proven that workers don’t have to be in an office full-time to be productive and trustworthy employees. So how can employees convince their employers to allow them to continue working remotely?
I have asked Employee Relations expert, Jason Greer aka “The Employee Whisperer” to provide a blueprint on how to navigate the “I want to continue working remotely” conversation with your manager.
1. Be Honest, but Be Prepared
If you want to work remotely, let your boss know, but do not make the mistake of walking into the conversation unprepared. Being honest will help you get the opportunities you need in your life.
Discussing remote work needs to happen so the needs of both parties can find a workable solution to provide the best working environment.
2. Be Prepared For the Objections
Plot out what you think your boss’ objections are going to be before you get into the meeting.
Do not have the conversation about staying in a remote position without providing the facts.
When you enter a presentation on working remotely, you will be expected to list all the possible answers to their concerns. Knowing your employer’s objections and how we could mitigate these issues. However, this does not have to be in a deck format. It could be a conversation where you bring relevant facts and data.
Remember to be flexible and collaborative in the conversation and bring strong evidence to support your request.
3. Money, Money, Money.
It always helps when you can show how much money the company will save by having you work remotely.
Therefore if there is a way you can show a cost analysis showing how employing you in a remote setting will help cover their bottom line. The communication should not include how the company is better off making money without you.
However, if you can communicate ways and means to which your productivity would increase, it will help motivate them to further your employment in a remote setting. After all, they will not need to pay for your office space.
They might even be able to hire another employee with the money they save from your remote work.
4. You are the Trophy
Remember this, employers are scared to death about losing high-quality talent such as yourself, given the current employment market. You are the trophy, and they have to earn the right to win you. As a result, your employer will work with you because they don’t want to lose you.
5. Offer a contingency agreement
Reassure your employer by providing a contingency plan if they become unhappy with your performance while remote.
Promise you will return to the office immediately if it becomes necessary.
During your presentation, inform them this can be an experiment. However, at any point the managers believe you are not performing, you will return to the headquarters where you were working. Therefore your employer will feel better about the remote working opportunity.
Remote Work is Around the Corner
Working remotely might be refreshing if you feel stuck in a traditional 9-5 office position. However, convincing your boss to let you go 100% remote could be challenging.
Do not look at the challenge as a defeat. Find ways where you can create opportunities for the office in a remote setting.
Significant changes take time, and often resistance to an idea isn’t due to someone disagreeing with you. Therefore it is just new and outside of a person’s comfort zone.
Be prepared for your talk regarding your ability to produce results away from the office. Back up your remote work with your performance. Doing so will help you remain in a remote setting. Remember, ultimately, you got this!