How to Negotiate a Remote Work Policy with Your Boss
Working remotely is becoming more and more of a possibility thanks to the advent of information technology. There are numerous advantages to being able to do your work from the comfort of your home, or even from a different country if you want. The problem is that not all supervisors think that this is such a good idea.
The lack of surveillance is the main problem with remote work. Your boss might be thinking that if they start allowing employees to work from home, their productivity will plummet because there’s nobody to supervise them. Therefore, if you ever want this to be a possibility for you, you’ve got to convince them otherwise.
Is it Possible?
First off, think of the nature of your position and whether it’s realistic to request working from home. Most jobs that are done on a computer are probably fine, but there are certain exceptions to this rule. And if you’re a salesperson that’s always in contact with their clients, it’s probably not a good idea to work remotely. It all depends on your position and your responsibilities.
However, it’s also possible to make some sort of compromise in this respect. Let’s say that, for whatever reason, the first half of your workday involves a process for which you have to be present at the company, but then you don’t leave your computer at all for the rest of the day. In that case, you can ask your boss if you can spend that remainder of your day working on your laptop at home. Simply put, if you being physically present isn’t a requirement, there should be no reason you should be.
As long as your boss is a reasonable person, there should be no reason why they wouldn’t let you try to work from home and see what the results of such an arrangement are. If it doesn’t work out you can always call it off and go back to the office. Agree to a trial period of two weeks or a month and if they agree, it’s your job to do your best and be as productive as you possibly can – more than you are in the office if at all possible.
Be aware that this isn’t as simple as it may sound, though. It’s sometimes rather difficult to put yourself in the right mindset for work when your bedroom is your office. Set up your environment to be as free of distractions as possible, so you can get as much work done as you do in your regular office.
Argue the Advantages
Show your boss how working remotely not only benefits you but the company as well. One of the biggest advantages of doing your job from home is that you both save time and money that would be spent on the commute. The company no longer has to pay to get you to the workplace, which can save quite a bit of money especially if you live really far away. It also means you’re available for work even in the event of severe weather conditions that might otherwise prevent you from getting to the office.
Agree to a Time Tracker
There’s a ton of software out there that makes remote work much easier both for the employee and the employer. Slack for team communication, Trello or Asana for project management and as of late there are a few applications that actually monitor your screen and track your activity remotely. This provides the employer with sufficient information about your performance, just as if you were in the same room.
Hubstaff, for example, takes screenshots of your desktop three times every ten minutes and logs how much you use your mouse and keyboard (without actually recording your keystrokes like a keylogger would). All your boss has to do is open up the app and see how productive you are (in fact, the app presents him with a calculated percentage of your activity). Agreeing to use a time tracker basically lets your employer know that you aren’t going to be slacking off because, after all, they can actually watch you work while the app is on.
Working remotely is becoming a growing trend in modern business and there is truly a myriad of advantages to it, both for you and your employer. Convincing them to let you work from home will not only make your life easier and save you time on the commute, it will also conserve company money.
Make sure your boss is aware of these advantages, and if necessary suggest the use of a screen monitoring app so they can track your performance remotely. The bottom line is that if your job allows it, there really should be no reason why you aren’t working from home, and it’s time to make your employer see this as well.