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Given the events of the last few weeks working from home has suddenly become the “new norm”. It has come into sharp focus as we try to deal with the implications of a global virus spread.
While working from home had been common within the technology sector, now practically every other industry has had to consider how to make it work.
There is a genuine interest from senior managers to ensure productivity within the work-force, and as such, this creates an openness to ideas which contribute to the work and life balance of its employees.
However, while this trend is becoming more popular within multinational companies, not all employers will be fully persuaded of its effectiveness.
So, if your life commitments require this sort of flexible arrangement or if following an enforced working from home period due to COVID-19, you now are wondering how to approach this topic with your employer so it becomes the norm for you, here are some tips:
- Find out if your company has a policy which covers flexible working? Chances are, if they do, you are halfway there.
- It’s imperative that you have good discipline and organisation, so before pitching this option create a tentative plan:
- Assess your role workload and create a strategy where some aspects can be done from home weekly and designate the days you could allocate for them.
- Writing reports, presentations
- Customer calls and answering emails
- Marketing and sales content
- Project management and development
- Writing proposals or presentations
- Meetings via video calls, with managers and colleagues.
- Make your case by explaining how you see it as a good fit with your role. If you have previous successful experience working from home then this is the time to share it. This will boost your credibility. (TIP: Design a spreadsheet with the weekly workload divided into time slots organised by office work/ homework.)
- Explain the advantages to the company and your manager such as: Less stress on office resources, Increased productivity, avoiding potential late starts due to traffic etc.
- Outline the resources you will use to be in close touch with the office, your boss and colleagues alike. List the software- research them and present them.
Some handy free resources for video calls are Zoom, Google Hangouts or Skype. If you are sharing in a project with colleagues there are several platforms, such as Trello, GoogleDocs, Office 365, Dropbox etc to make communication quick and efficiently.
8.Finally, ask for a trial period of one or two days a week to demonstrate to the company how it is a good mutual option.
Note: If you are still in the process of being interviewed, we recommend you wait until you receive a job offer before discussing it. But discuss it as soon as you have the offer.
As with pitching any other proposal, be open and flexible too. You may likely be met with some resistance at first but be ready with answers and demonstrate that you have the organisation skills and track record needed to make it work.
There is a high chance that your request will be met and it’s worth a try.