While some people look forward to office antics and water dispenser conversations with coworkers, an increasing number of people want the option to work from home. According to a study by Global Work Place Analytics, 37 percent of employees would take a 10-percent pay cut if they were given the opportunity to work from home. Before you quit your current job and start hunting for another position, consider negotiating remote working for your current employer instead.Working remotely can improve productivity, decrease stress, and increase an employee’s job satisfaction and overall happiness, so here are a few guidelines that will help you prepare for a negotiation meeting with your manager.
- Gather Data and facts
Start by speaking with the human resources department to discuss your company’s current policies for remote work. How many employees currently work remotely? Do they work in a department or position similar to yours? Were they hired as telecommuters or did they transition to remote work? Speak with a few of the company’s remote workers to get a better idea of how they negotiated working from home and how they stay successful working remotely.
2. Highlight Tasks You Can Complete Remotely
Remote work isn’t possible for all industries. Some tasks must be completed on-site, especially if you work directly with customers. Create a list of your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks and separate them into two columns — one for projects you can complete remotely, and one for tasks that must be completed in the office. This will help both you and your manager evaluate opportunities for remote work.
3. Create Options
Everyone likes options. If remote work isn’t common at your company, it may be difficult to negotiate for full-time remote work. Develop a few different options to pitch to your boss that might include simply making your schedule more flexible. Other options might include the following:
4. Have Answers Ready
- Working 20 hours from home and 20 hours in the office per week
- Coming in an hour earlier and leaving an hour earlier to avoid rush hour
- Working four 10-hour days instead of five eight-hour days
Your manager might have a lot of questions about how you plan to successfully work remotely. Be prepared with answers before you meet with him or her. Propose a plan for how to track your work and submit projects. Discuss communication methods, such as chat programs, so coworkers can easily get in touch with you throughout the day. Explain how you intend to ensure private company information won’t slip through your hands and will be secure when you’re working remotely. Having answers ready can help while negotiating working remotely.
5. Create a Proposal
Now that you’ve identified how you can work remotely, what tasks can be completed from home, and how you intend to maintain your success, it’s time to compile it into a proposal. In your proposal, you should do the following:
6. Find the Right Time
- Outline a suggested work schedule
- Propose how and when you will check in and submit completed projects
- Describe several ways your remote work will benefit the company
Timing is everything. Instead of casually walking into your managers office and suggesting a conversation, request a meeting in advance to ensure you will have enough time to review your proposal together. Avoid approaching your manager if he they are having a bad day, and instead aim for a time after you’ve successfully completed a big project.
Working remotely is a dream for many — but it can become a reality for you if you prepare in advance for a negotiation with your manager. Keep in mind that a negotiation often involves compromise. You may not get everything you want, but if you’re open to alternative solutions or a trial run, you and your manager can come to a solution that benefits both you and the company.