One of the few positives to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic was that many businesses, and their workers, discovered that working from home could bring some advantages. However, after the lockdown, many businesses went back to their old schedules and requirements.
So, what can you do if you would still like to work from home? Use these six strategies to negotiate a potential hybrid or work-from-home schedule.
Having negotiation tactics can come in handy when presenting this proposal to your employers. Many companies are so set in their rules, policies, and regulations that they may resist the idea of letting anyone work from home, even if there are policies in place to allow for it.
Having a negotiation plan ready before even bringing up the idea is a smart thing to do. Creating and accurately displaying your plan for your employers showcases your value and the potential in the new arrangement.
By negotiating for at-home work you can open up potential other opportunities for not only yourself, but other coworkers who may also benefit from working remotely.
Prepare for Negotiations First
Working from home can look and seem very different from person to person. It all depends on how you lay out your time and what position you hold within the company.
Some people have a hybrid schedule where they spend half their time in the office on site, and the other half of the week from home. Many find the hybrid schedule better as they do not feel stagnant from staying in one place too long.
It can help avoid burnout. Carefully consider all of the tasks you must do during the day and make sure that it is something that can be accomplished from home. If not, what arrangements can be made? Having a good understanding of this can make negotiation easier.
Working from home sounds like an amazing opportunity, and it can be, for those with the mental fortitude to do so. Having a home office lessens some challenges but replaces them with home distractions.
Many people who go back to working in an office from working at home usually do so because they find it difficult to develop some self-management habits. You can go into many of the social media groups and speak with those who work from home regularly.
Is there someone already doing the work you do, and doing so from a home location? Do not be afraid to ask questions and take into consideration everything you are told. You may find after doing your research that working from home is not ideal for you.
Data is King
When speaking with your supervisor or employer about working out of a home office, one of the best tools at your disposal is hard facts and data. For example, what research has been done that suggests productivity is enhanced when workers are allowed to work from home?
If you are in sales, or other quantifiable type of job, then make sure you bring your personal stats with you. While working from home, prove you were more productive. Showing employers how it will benefit them is one of the key strategies that works.
Negotiate a Work from Home Schedule
After you have done all your prep work for the negotiations it is time to bring your proposal to your employer. Ask your manager for a conversation to open dialog about the possibility of a work from home schedule.
Be prepared for initial push back, as many employers may be resistant to the idea of change, especially if the policies have been a certain way for a long time. It is important to make sure you propose a conversation, suggesting that you have something to discuss.
If they ask what it is in regard to, simply say you have something interesting you would like to share about productivity and you would like his or her opinion on it.
Showcase In-person Work similarities
Within the negotiation, take some time to highlight all that you do and how those same tasks can be completed without any impact to the work output. This can potentially help your employer feel more at ease letting you work from home if they can see no loss of time or profit would happen in the transition.
This is also the time to talk about how you would remain consistent, as well as how you plan to use technology to fill in missing gaps such as office meeting attendance.
Focus on Employer Benefits
Leave the personal benefits for yourself at the door when walking in to negotiate a work from home schedule. Bringing your own personal reasons for wanting to work from home is a quick way to end the negotiation before it even begins.
So, focus on employer benefits and how working from home can benefit the company and your boss. For example, you can explain how working from home leads to better levels of concentration and therefore more work can be accomplished.
This is a great time to show the studies that support your statement. Better still, present other companies’ success stories when allowing workers to work from home.
Showcase Your Contributions
It is wise to also remind and recall all that you have done to support the business and grow the company. Some employers will see the value you hold as a worker and let you work from home.
They may see that keeping you satisfied in your job is a good trade for letting you work from home. This is also the time to bring up past assignments and projects and how being able to work from home may take your productivity to even greater heights.
Compromise if Needed
Not all employers allow a full-time work from home schedule. In this event, you may need to compromise on a solution.
Ask for a hybrid schedule if the full-time schedule is not available. A hybrid schedule is one that allows you to work from home on certain days, and work from the office on others.
Being flexible during the negotiation can serve you better than being rigid and unwavering. Work with your employer to come up with a policy that benefits you and the company for working at home.