If you’ve already got a job you love, there’s no need to quit. Instead, negotiating for remote work will allow you to keep your job, and according to this FlexJobs survey, it might make you more productive as well.
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 Humans of Outsite videos might help you think about this!).
2. Formulate a debate.
Ok, so you’d definitely like to be remote for a legitimate reason. Now you have to consider whether this is reasonable with your role. If you’re a team manager, with on-site contact hours daily, it might not work so well for you. The same goes for any role where the job includes face-to-face client meetings, in one city. You should also check out whether you already have 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 statistics about remote work, why you’re not necessarily more productive in office, and how the future of work is already changing. It may help them attract new talent, too.
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 deserve mentions:
– Propose a trial period (for example, working from home every Friday for 1 month to see the effects/potential issues)
– Outline the 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.
– 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 what you should be sending in your proposal.
4. Send it.
Press the button, wait for it!
5. Enjoy, or re-negotiate.
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 Hawaii, Bali or Portugal.
Ready to start your own adventure? Become a Member of Outsite, or suggest the Outsite Business Membership to your team – that way you can all kick back in your new Bali, Hawaii or Lisbon headquarters.
Words: Tibor Lovas
Photographs: Tibor Lovas
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