If you’re one of the many workers who've recently discovered what it's like to work from home, you may be wondering whether your company is going to allow you to continue the arrangement once things go back to normal. The best way to find out is to ask your boss. However, before you make the ask, build your case in a way that is compelling to your company.
Before COVID-19, many managers were mistrustful of work-from-home arrangements. After all, how are companies supposed to ensure that their workers are being productive? As the global pandemic necessitated remote work, many companies have found that remote work is feasible and that employees can be happier and more productive while working remotely. Nevertheless, there are still benefits to the traditional office setting, so you may need to build your case.
Before you ask your boss whether you can continue to work remotely, you need to show that you’ve been able to remain productive while outside of the office. Tracking data relating to your productivity and the projects you’re expected to deliver can help to build a solid case that you’re able to work just as hard at home as you did in the office, and perhaps even more.
While you’re gathering data related to your productivity, you can also begin building a list of achievements you’ve accomplished during the pandemic. If you’ve gained more clients, completed projects on time or early, stayed under budget, saved your employer money, etc., put that on the list.
In order to successfully work from home, you need to reassure your employer that you're easy to contact and communicate with. This means responding to messages in a timely manner. It also means being an excellent communicator. Make sure you’re still participating in the virtual team meetings. This will ensure that your employer sees that you’re still going to be an active part of your team.
Try to meet with your manager over video instead of just talking on the phone with him or her about your proposal. This will allow you to see how responsive they are to the idea. Be sure to bring up specific examples of how successful you've been working remotely. After your meeting, follow up in writing.
Be prepared to have to compromise. For instance, you may only be able to remotely only one or two days a week. In addition, you may want to offer to do this on a trial basis so that you and your manager can determine if this is an arrangement that will work long-term.
Before you meet with your boss to ask if you may continue working remotely, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Are there some aspects of your job that are better suited for being in the office? Does most of your team perform their work in the office? If so, you may not be able to work remotely once the pandemic is over. You may, however, be able to arrange part-time remote work.
Don’t make your request during a time when everyone is busy with a project and stressed out over meeting the deadline. In addition, don’t wait until just before you’re supposed to go back to working in person. Once your company has begun discussing reopening, you can bring the topic up with your manager.
While you may — and should — have all sorts of reasons for why working remotely benefits you, your employer will be more apt to say yes if you can show them why this will be a better arrangement for the company, and for them.
While you may feel a little nervous about asking your manager whether this is an arrangement that can continue on after COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, don’t be afraid to ask! You may be able to come up with an arrangement that's beneficial to both you and your employer.