Nothing feels better than waking up at your own pace, grabbing your morning cup of coffee, sitting down to meditate, and starting your day on your own terms. I started working for myself back in 2014, and honestly, I don’t miss the days where I had to rush to the office, even when my commute was only 15 minutes. The truth is, for most of us, being able to work remotely is a dream. According to one survey, telecommuters are 87% more likely to love their job than those chained to their desk from 9-5. Work-life balance is something we all crave, and one way to integrate the two in your life is telecommuting. And research shows that most millennials want to telecommute full time!
Timing is everything! Of course, you’ll want to find a time where you’re boss is in a good mood. But a unique strategy to tap into is to ask during your company’s “busy” or “peak” season. The idea here is that your boss will likely want people to work overtime to help meet deadlines. You can then build your argument around the idea that instead of wasting time commuting, you can get the extra work in from a space with fewer distractions (because TBH, working in an office is full of distractions).
When I had a 9-5, one thing I did was always note any time I went above and beyond my role. That way I had a physical record when it came time to negotiate a raise or, in this case, telecommuting. If you can, quantify your value in terms of the company’s bottom line. Figure out how much extra revenue you’ve brought in, any cost-saving initaitives you’ve spearheaded, and so on. This way you can build an argument around the idea that you’ll be able be more productive, creative, and focused on the bottom line when faced with fewer distractions in the office.
It’s not enough to keep building arguments around the idea that there will be “fewer distractions” out of the office. Instead, come armed with facts on the benefits of telecommuting from both the employer and employee perspective! For example, a lot of companies are implementing green initiatives, by allowing employees to work from home a day or two each week, the company is significantly reducing their carbon footprint. Some companies are going as far as shutting down their office entirely for a day once a week to save energy. Other studies have shown that employers who allow telecommuting have lower turnover rates, thereby they don’t need to waste as many resources on new hires.
Once you’ve crafted your argument, and you know which angle you’re going to approach with, spend some time thinking of any “holes” in your logic. Is there any reason your boss may say no? Are there any potential red flags you need to address before they can become red flags for your boss? For instance, I used to work in healthcare, meaning I dealt a lot with sensitive information. My employer wasn’t keen on me accessing patient records from my personal laptop at home. Any employee taking home work had to sign something that ensured we kept the information safe and secure (meaning closed-door policies, dedicated workspaces, private internet connections, etc.).
If you’re one of the first people in your office starting to telecommute, consider offering a trial run to start. Set a time once a month to sit down and see what’s working and what isn’t. That way you can figure things out together, without either party feeling frustrated.
Communication is key when creating a new working arrangement. Talk with your boss about what’s expected in terms of “expected” office hours. Find ways to stay plugged into your team. Figure out what workflows may need to be tracked via a transparent system like Trello or Asana. The main goal is to ensure all parties feel comfortable and confident about who is doing what and when. After all, the workforce is projected to be about 50% remote by 2020!
Originally published on The Confused Millennial.