How do you ask employers if you can work remotely?
There’s no secret: Remote working is becoming more common these days. According to research, about 70% of professionals worldwide work remotely at least one day a week. However, some work entirely remotely. One of the most significant advantages of working remotely is its flexibility in other areas of life. Are you fed up with where you live now? And want to move to a new place. So, you can.
Of course, some professions, such as healthcare and emergency services, where you cannot work remotely. But there are many places where you can work remotely when you have a laptop and internet access. If you go to the office and want to work from home, the question always is: "How do you ask employers if you can work remotely?"
Here, in this article, we discuss strategies to ask your employer if you can work remotely.
See also the article SHOULD I ASK TO WORK REMOTELY?
What are the advantages of full-time remote work?
Remote work has many benefits, especially when society is trying to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. When you ask your employer for permission to work remotely, be sure to highlight these benefits. Some of the benefits of remote work are listed below.
- Improved life-work balance
- Reduced commute stress
- Fewer interferences from office colleagues
- Reduced company over-head costs because of fewer workers in offices
- Impact on environment
- Enhanced productivity and sustainability
- Money and time savings
- Location independence
How to ask your employer for permission to work remotely?
1. Be specific with your request to work remotely
When considering applying for a remote job, the employer considers several factors, such as budget and staffing needs.
That means that your employer wants to know what you are asking for before considering your application. Therefore, submitting an explicit request will increase your chances of receiving a positive response.
Consequently, you need to know the answers to all of the following questions:
- What days of the week do you need to work remotely?
- Will you be working at the same time, or would you like to request new appointments?
- When do you want to start a new remote work schedule?
- Do you have internet access, a laptop or working computer, and a remote work area?
- Do you regularly communicate with colleagues and co-workers to do your job? How will you do it by working remotely?
- Are you planning to be available outside of regular working hours?
- Are other employees working under your supervision? How effectively do you do this at home?
- Would you like to go to the office for special meetings?
See also our article HOW DO YOU ANSWER WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK REMOTELY?
2.Be ready to tackle potential challenges
Before asking for remote schedules, you should consider the challenges of remote work and plan to overcome them.
Possible challenges you need to prepare for include insufficient staffing, budget restrictions, home distractions, and technical difficulties. Your response to these challenges should be solid, clear, and action-oriented. For example;
As you know, technical problems are one of the biggest challenges of remote work. It would help if you prepared to overcome these challenges. To do this, in addition to your home, you need to have additional work areas that you can access in case of technical problems.
3.Maintain your good track record
If you want to apply for permanent remote work, now (although you are probably working remotely due to the pandemic) is not the time to relax. One of the best trading tools you have is your track record.
Make sure you respond to your work emails and phone calls on time and meet critical deadlines. If you demonstrate consistently that you are a committed team member, your chances of hiring remotely will increase.
4.Give evidence in your support
There are many reasons you choose to work remotely: from being reluctant to work, taking care of your kids at home, and many more.
However, these are your concerns, and your employer doesn’t really care about your concerns.
It would help if you showed your employer that remote work would benefit your career and productivity to convince him. It would be best if you did not depend on general statistics to back up your argument. It doesn’t matter that X% people work at home more efficiently.
It would help if you expressed that you are more productive by working remotely. For example:
When you work in the office, it takes 2 hours to complete the task. Working from home takes only 1.5 hours on average, because you can concentrate more. It shows your employer that you work better with fewer distractions. Take time to do some essential tasks and write down your KPIs (Key performance indicators).
These indicators must speak for themselves. They will show your employer that remote working is not only a personal request - but it is an effort to provide the company with the best possible job.
5.Request an appointment with your employer
Applying for a remote job is not something you want to find between appointments. Identify the best person to talk to - he or she may be your direct employer or team leader. Set aside a dedicated time to share your application and the plan you have developed for it.
Come to your meeting ready to discuss how remote work will benefit both you and the company.
6.How will remote work benefit the employer?
Working remotely saves you from traffic jams, work distractions, and being away from home. But the question is that how will remote work benefit the employer?
Think about when you first met your employer to apply for a position. You had to convince your boss that getting your services could improve his business. The same principle applies if you want to be allowed to work remotely.
If you want to work remotely, convince your boss that allowing you to do so will benefit his business. The good news is that there is a lot of information about it on the internet.
A recent Stanford University study found that working remotely increases employee productivity and saves employers money. Make a list of reasons why remote work will benefit your employer – and prepare it for the meeting.
7.Guess your employer’s response
Although it is difficult to predict the employer’s response, you can create multiple scenarios. Think about the possible reactions from the boss and how you can respond. Consider the following possibilities;
Congratulations, your employer has approved your application and allows you to work remotely. Hearing this great news does not mean you relax. Instead, you need to start to focus on delivering on what you have promised.
React responsibly during working hours and be ready to help with additional tasks. Do everything you can to show that you are the team’s asset and that your proposed contract will work well.
If your employer says working remotely is a good option, but he should also express reservations. In case you are unaware of these concerns, ask what they are. If these reservations are related to performance, you cite your key contributions. Or you can discuss the top points for reviewing your recent performance.
If your boss is worried that other employees will also want the remote job, tell him your duties. Remind your boss that, unlike other employees, your job doesn’t require a lot of face-to-face interaction. So, you can perform all of your duties remotely.
You can also share personal circumstances that make remote work perfect for you.
The third situation is that your employer rejects your request. If this happens to you, ask your employer if he is free to negotiate. If so, answer by asking for remote work for a certain period. For example, 2 to 3 days a week instead of 5.
Or ask if you can allow remote work for 2 to 3 months as a trial. Let your employer know that you are happy to meet after the trial period to review the team’s requirements.
Or consider a follow-up meeting with your boss in the middle of the trial period to check your progress.
Make sure your employer knows that your goal is to continue working remotely after the trial period.
If you need to work remotely right away - Perhaps your spouse is moving to another city, and you want to keep your job while you drive. And you may not have time to be patient. Otherwise, patience is the best decision if you haven’t been approved for remote work yet.
Remote work in your area may not be typical. Or it may not be common to work remotely in your company. So, you need patience. If you don’t receive the response, you expected initially, ask your employer to remember it for the future kindly. And then ask again a few months later.
Important things to remember while working remotely
If you are allowed to work remotely from your employer, you should work with the following things in mind. So, the employer is impressed with your performance and will enable you to work remotely for a long time.
One of the most difficult things to change from office work to remote work is communication. When you’re not sitting at your desk in your office, some employers have a vision that you are watching Netflix. Some think you are on the phone with friends.
That is why it is so important to communicate your schedule and workload. Taking about remote work, Hurford says there is no such thing as maximum communication.
If your employer allows a remote meeting, be sure to explain which communication method he prefers. Some employers prefer to use chat programs all day long. Others may ask you for video meetings or phone calls. Some prefer to communicate via emails.
Regardless of the method used, it is essential to avoid communication failures that could harm remote experiences.
Make a workspace at home
If possible, it is best to book a separate workspace to work from home. It will help you separate household activities from work and increase productivity while working in a specific area. Talk to roommates, friends that even if you are at home, you have no restrictions on your scheduled working hours.
Video technology is an excellent remote working tool. Thanks to this, we stay connected when we are very far away. To optimize video chats, you should;
- Before starting important video meetings, make sure that your computer speakers, microphone, and camera are working properly
- Aware of your physical background during official meetings
- Use a video camera when possible- staying on the camera can improve communication
More tips you can find in the article HOW DO I ASK MY BOSS TO WORK REMOTELY?
When you finally get a remote work permit, take your time; be prepared to commit. For instance, if you are developing applications for a luxury brand, you can work from home and come to the office to review your projects with clients and employers after they are completed.
Either way, if you manage to convince your boss to let you work remotely, do your best. You must prove to your employer that he made the right decision.