You don’t have to win the lottery or even quit your job to be able to travel more. It can be as simple as packing up your laptop, cell phone and chargers, and hitting the road. Working remote, a.k.a. telecommuting, is one of the fastest growing trends in modern labor. During the last two decades, it’s grown in popularity by more than 25%!
And, for super good reason. A survey found working remote makes you 87% more likely to love your job compared to spending the day in an office. So I assume by now you’re thinking, “This sounds amazing, how do I get my boss to let me do this?”
No sweat, I’ve got the deets. And, it’s simpler than you might think. Here’s how to negotiate your way out of the office and into a great gig.
Bring the Data
If you want your boss to take your request serious, you should too. Start by creating a formal proposal that lays out a schedule and how the arrangement will work. And, include the benefits of this arrangement for the company. That last part is key! You want to emphasize how this helps the company, not how it gives you more time to travel or go to brunch.
Next, find research that backs up your claims. For instance, the positive effects of telecommuting on productivity, retention and the environment. You can also show that remote workers are happier, start earlier, take shorter breaks and work longer hours. That’s a win for your boss!
List out your contributions to the company. While you’re at it, note why fewer distractions could enhance your productivity or creativity. If you can quantify your value to the company you’ll have greater leverage.
Be prepared with 3 ways telecommuting will make you a better employee and asset to the company. If you need some help, you can start here.
Consider the Timing
Determining the optimal time to have this conversation is vital. Aim to have this conversation when you have the upper hand. For instance, when you receive a job offer you’re in a great position to negotiate. Or, right after you’ve had a big win at work.
Another great time to bring this up is during peak season or busy times in the office. You can argue that working remote will help you focus and spend less time commuting. But, if you’re new on the job or working towards a promotion, it may not be the best time to ask for more days out of the office.
Your boss’ first inclination will be to keep things status quo, so they’ll be looking for red flags. It’s your job to make this arrangement work for them and the people they may need to convince.
Do your best to anticipate and reduce possible concerns. Prepare responses for questions about your productivity or IT security issues. Think about what your boss’ questions or hang-ups might be, and be prepared with solutions. You could suggest using a VPN to maintain security, or scheduled project check-ins.
By doing your research, you’ll show that you’ve thought through every facet of the arrangement.
Make it a Conversation
Now for the real moment, actually talking to your boss. Schedule time to talk with your supervisor and present your request. Keep in mind that they may not approve it right away, especially if these types of arrangements are uncommon at your company.
But all isn’t lost! Show that you’re willing to be flexible and committed to the job. You can also offer to discuss the proposals with other managers that might need to sign off on this.
Ask for a Trial Run
If your boss is skeptical about having you work remote, start with baby steps. Try to ease into it with a trial run. Remember, this is your opportunity to sell the idea and close the deal. Make sure to show you can be productive and accountable outside the office. Be communicative and transparent about the hours you will work and your availability. Once the trial run is successful, look to negotiate more flexible hours or remote days.
I'm Natasha Ho, a trained chef and avid traveler. I've studied culinary traditions from cuisines around the world, and I help food lovers learn how to cook a wide variety of meals that are consistently delicious so they can have more fun, ease and joy in their kitchen.