How to Negotiate for Remote Work (at work)
Here's how to start turning your job into a remote one.
1. Establish whether you really want to work remotely.
Is it so you can travel? If so, have you travelled extensively before? Is it so you can spend more time with family - or maybe it's so that you can focus on your health? Have you ever worked alone, outside of the social comfort of an office?
Working online is not for everyone. It can be very isolating, and not all personalities are suited to solitude.
Thinking about why you want to work remotely will really usher out any anxieties or naivetes you have about it. If it's because you don't currently enjoy doing your work, it may not be your location flexibility that you should change. Establish the real reason why you'd like to be remote, and whether you think you're cut out for it (our
2. Formulate a debate.
flexible hours, but you don't know about them.
However, if you're already spending the majority of your hours on a computer, you're chatting to your colleagues on Slack and your meetings could be condensed to a Monday (and done via Skype/Zoom/Google Hangouts), you're already remote.
Chances are, your boss might be totally cool with it, see eye to eye with you, and there will be no debate. If there is, back up your argument with
3. Write the email (and wait on it).
If you'd prefer to ask in person, go ahead, however this is a conversation best left for email - it allows both parties to wait, and formulate their answer. There are a few elements that need a mention:
- Propose a trial period (for example, working from home every Friday for 1 month to see the effects/potential issues)
- Outline that following period (if the trial period goes well, how does the policy continue?)
- Outline how you intend to communicate with the team whilst 'away', on that day. Show how you'll be available for conversations.
- Potential benefits to your company, and your team! You could be networking with a community whilst you all work, in a beautiful place. That's definitely a benefit.
Lifewire have an excellent outline of
. It's easy to get excited when writing it, so write it, leave it, then check it again with a clearer mind - image you were your manager, and think about how it will be received.
Press the button, wait for it!
If the first email hasn't been received 'well', there's room for negotiation. Establish why your company isn't comfortable with remote work - if it's because the profession does not translate well to a remote job, it may be time to seek out a new opportunity. However, if it's the first request your manager has received for remote work, the proposal may need further reinforcement, and testing.
Alternatively, it may have gone well, and you might be signing up for your first stay in
to your team - that way you can all kick back in your new tropical headquarters.
Words: Rebecca Georgia