Make the most of this one-of-a-kind scenario to argue for a permanent flexible work arrangement. While many organizations and companies had adopted flexible work arrangements even before the coronavirus epidemic pushed the switch to a wholly virtual workforce, some employers were concerned that such arrangements would reduce employee productivity and collaboration in the long run.
However, many more professionals have experienced firsthand the benefits of working from home as a result of this months-long remote-work experiment, and may not want to return to the commuter life after the COVID-19 issue is over.
Indeed, according to a recent survey, 61 percent of U.S. professionals now feel linked or very attached to their coworkers as a result of the shift to home-working. Despite the fact that the world is experiencing its worst economic slump since the Great Depression, one out of every four U.S. professionals would turn down a job offer if the employer did not provide a flexible work policy.
While you’re usually in the greatest position to negotiate perks like a flexible work schedule when you’re searching for a new job, the recent social distancing has provided a unique chance for workers to make their case for working from home permanently. Adopting the following procedures if you want to continue working remotely after the outbreak.
- How to Survive Working From Home With Kids?
- How to Avoid Distractions and Stay Productive When You Work from Home
Do your homework
Check your employee handbook or contact with someone in HR to see if working remotely is allowed — or not allowed. Just because no one you know was working off-site before the lockdown began doesn’t rule out the possibility of such a policy. If such a policy does not exist, don’t allow this fact stop you.
Instead, conduct a research to find other businesses — ideally competitors or businesses with similar characteristics to yours, such as size or industry — that have allowed at least some of their employees to work from home before the pandemic or plan to allow some of their employees to work from home permanently once the crisis has passed.
Educate yourself on the advantages of working from home. When correctly executed, a flexible work arrangement can benefit both you and the organization. Employers who offer work-flexibility alternatives can minimize burnout, raise retention rates, reduce absenteeism, boost productivity, and boost overall employee morale. Keep this data on hand to back up your idea.
Demonstrate your efficiency
Many businesses are still skeptical of remote work, despite research showing that it can boost a team’s productivity. It’s critical to demonstrate your productivity now if you want to convince your supervisor to let you work from home after the pandemic. Consider your current situation as a large-scale work-from-home test. Make sure to do the following to demonstrate your manager you’re on top of things:
- Don’t tell, show. Instead than wasting time explaining to your supervisor what you expect to do each day of the week, give a high-level overview of your responsibilities. Then concentrate on completing them and reporting on your results in the form of lessons learned, insights gained, and actual figures. It’s much more compelling to show the benefits of your production than to talk about how prolific you’ll be.
- Be quick to respond. Respond to your team’s messages as soon as possible. Examine the communication and collaboration tools you’re using to see whether they may be linked together to expedite communication and help you stay organized and responsive.
- Stay present. When you’re on a video call, try to avoid multitasking. While you may believe that doing so makes you appear “productive,” it frequently gives the sense that you aren’t taking the meeting, or your coworkers, seriously.
Also, now is the moment to update your professional “brag book” if you haven’t done so since lockdown began. Keep track of which of your goals were reached or exceeded in the first half of the year, as well as the specific results you’ve seen since working from home.
Examine your role again
When compelled to migrate to a wholly virtual workforce, most companies had to make concessions. Managers may, for example, have lowered their performance objectives to account for the team’s home-work constraints such as unstable WiFi connection, noisy children, poor lighting. However, as certain jurisdictions begin to lift business laws, your boss’s expectations may shift.
Before approaching your manager about a permanent work-from-home arrangement, have an honest discussion with yourself about whether working remotely is a viable choice for your role after your company returns to routine.
Take into account the following:
- Is your home-office area suitable for you to conduct your job well, or have you been “making do” since you’ve been hunkered down at home? Do you, for example, have a dependable and fast internet connection?
- Which, if any, of your tasks had to be placed on hold during COVID-19 because they were too difficult or unrealistic to perform while working remotely?
- Are you in charge of a group that will be expected to return to work? Will your team demand your presence on-site if this is the case?
Consider creating a schedule that allows you to work remotely most of the time and come into the office a couple of times a week if there are areas of your job that are more efficient from the office.
If your boss is still doubtful, remind them that once daycares and schools reopen, your productivity will almost certainly increase. While you’ve had the opportunity to work remotely for the previous few months, it’s not a whole picture of your performance.
Go for it as long as you’re prepared to make a compelling case for why working remotely is a win-win situation. They can only say no in the worst-case scenario. Best of luck!
Are you looking for a job that allows you to work from home?