Churning out work in the quiet comfort of your own home, or perhaps while sipping a glass of wine while typing away in the garden - working from home is the dream, right?
As we all know, or should know by now, everything in life has its pros and cons, but for some, working from home really would make life easier, especially if faced with a colossal commute, distracting office environment or skyrocketing child care costs.
Some companies are flexible, and if you feel that you are someone who would really benefit from working from home, you do have the right to ask - but before you go bowling into your boss’ office to ‘pop the question’, here are a few things you may want to consider…
1. Think About It Carefully
Before even beginning to negotiate and set about working from home or ‘telecommuting’, it is worth sitting down with yourself and making sure it’s the right move for you - write down your own personal pros and cons and think about whether you’ll thrive in your new environment. If you think not, then don’t do it - if you are reading this, have thought about it and have decided it’s best to stay put, then this article is now void!
2. Delve a Little Deeper
If you are still reading then the next tip is simple, make sure you do your company research. Again, before even getting down to it with your big boss or line manager, speak to colleagues who have worked remotely and find out how it’s been for them. Also, it really won’t hurt to carefully read through your company’s remote working policies - if you already know the do’s and don’ts and understand the rules, it will strengthen your negotiating position from the offset.
3. Create a Proposal
If you go into your boss’ office and in a dulcet tone, say ‘can I work from home please...permanently?’, you may as well be asking them to borrow a fiver. What I mean by this, if you go in unprepared without being able to outline how the company will benefit from this new arrangement, it looks very sloppy and unprofessional and you won’t be taken seriously, so, a written proposal is a must. Here are the basic things you should include:
- The reason for you request
- A proposed schedule and communication plan
- The benefits to your department and the company as a whole
- Your new potential work address and all relevant contact details
- Any equipment or resources you may need
Get started, take a little time to mull it over, create a checklist and make sure when you talk to your boss, all of the above info is included in a clear and concise way.
4. Be Prepared to Bend a Little
Negotiating is called negotiating for a reason - just because you want something to happen in a certain way and completely on your own terms, it doesn’t mean it’ll work out that way. Basically, when approaching your boss, make sure you’re ready to reach a compromise if they are unhappy with certain parts of your proposal. Also, it’s a good idea to identify questions you may be asked prior to your meeting and prepare answers, or solutions - this will definitely help your case.
5. Be a Pro!
This could be considered glaringly obvious, so if it’s not considered, you will probably have zero chance of negotiating your work from home proposal. Make sure that when you sit down to discuss the matter, you speak with clarity and confidence, you are looking smart and your proposal is very neat and aesthetically pleasing - in short, this is like a job interview, so treat it like one, otherwise you’ll get nothing.
Negotiating something like this can be incredibly daunting, but like anything in life, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. But the bottom line is, do your research, plan your proposal and prepare yourself in advance - that way you’ll find the negotiating process much easier when the time comes.
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