The Changing World of Work – How to Negotiate a Continued Work From Home
Julie Knox is the owner of Blue Sky Career Consulting. They have a team of 9 Career Coaches and Resume Writers supporting clients from all walks of life. They believe accessibility is about covering a range of price points to be able to support people from all socio–economic backgrounds. Blue Sky Career Consulting was the NSW recipient of the 2021 CDAA Division Awards for Excellence in Practice.
Over the last 2 years, most office-based workers have managed to carry out their roles successfully whilst working from home. But with the Government’s encouragement to return to the office, as well as many companies starting to pressure staff to give up working from home, is it time for the power balance to shift and for workers to, at long last, create the work-life balance they truly want?
A recent survey by slack of 9,000 workers across six countries found that 72% prefer a hybrid remote-office model with only 12% preferring to work in the office fulltime. They also found that 13% would like to always work from home if given the choice.
Over the past 2 years, a huge percentage of my coaching clients have used Covid as an opportunity to reflect not only on their career but their life as a whole, with work/life balance continually highlighted as a critical factor.
Here are 5 key tips that I’ve shared with clients when negotiating a continued full or partial work from home:
- Do Your Research - Your organisation may have embraced the remote working culture up till now but try to get a clear idea of what their plans are moving forward. Ask for a copy of the remote working policy, check if there have been any official announcements, explore what colleagues are planning etc. This research will help support you with facts when negotiating your request.
- Organise Your Thoughts – Plan out what you want to say/ask for in advance then create a written proposal. Ensure you put yourself in your boss's shoes and try to address their concerns. Your proposal should be detailed and include information about how you will not only manage your work but also how you will communicate with other employees, clients etc.
Additional Tip - You can also develop a sample work schedule to demonstrate that you have thought about this thoroughly and are confident in continuing to achieve the best results whilst working remotely.
- Demonstrate Achieved Results – Gather data of your efficiency, productivity and achievements during the last 18-24 months of remote working. This provides concrete evidence to your manager that you have already succeeded whilst working from home.
- Outline The Benefits – Highlight the win-win scenario of a working from home arrangement. These may include: costs, motivation, flexibility, travel, productivity, work/life balance etc.
- Be Persistent But Flexible - You may need to ask more than once to drive home your request. Continue to outline the benefits for you and the company as above, but be flexible. Flexibility in your negotiations will make for a strong case and hopefully create a win-win outcome.
I read a clever post on LinkedIn the other day. It was posted by a US-based corporate recruiter, Jeremy Bell. Jeremy’s message was a call out to companies who are insisting that their employees return to the office rather than continuing to work from home.
He was asking that these companies to provide the following:
- Company-paid travel passes and parking passes
- Free lunch every day and unlimited free snacks and coffee
- Expense reimbursement for business clothes (or no dress code)
- Freedom for employees to leave at any time to pick up their kids (or go to the dentist, or the vet, etc.)
- Open door policy regarding children and pets coming into the office
- A private office for each employee
- Flexible arrival times on snowy or rainy days, etc.
You get the point!
More power to the people – Create the work/life balance you want and encourage your clients to do the same.