According to a 2021 FlexJobs survey, 65% of respondents want to remain full-time remote workers. And more than half said they would “definitely” look for a new job if they could no longer work remotely.
But before you consider quitting, try negotiating with your employer. Here is what you need to know to prepare for the conversation so you can be successful.
Before the meeting
Before you talk to your supervisor, familiarize yourself with your company’s regulations on working remotely. What did they look like before and after the pandemic? Were any of your colleagues able to work remotely permanently, and if so, how?
Concentrate on the employer’s advantages.
Emphasize how remote employment benefits employers by reducing their operating costs. This means lowering overhead costs, such as rent, office equipment, utilities, insurance and supplies. According to Global Workplace Analytics, IBM has saved $50 million in real estate costs by allowing employees to work from home. According to productivity research firm Prodoscore, employees who work remotely are 47% more productive. Other benefits to employers include better employee performance, engagement and retention.
Write a proposal
While your proposal does not have to be extremely long, it should include the following:
- A specific request, such as whether you want to work remotely full-time or just a few days a week
- Work-from-home success stories with metrics
- Statistics on how working remotely will benefit the employer
- How you will handle regular communication with your management and team
Do it in-person
Negotiate a remote work agreement in person if possible. It’s easier to build rapport, and you’ll benefit from verbal and nonverbal indicators such as body language, tone of voice, and eye contact.
It is critical to provide measurable results to back up your plan. Inform your employer that working from home has made you more efficient.
Be patient and flexible with your manager throughout the negotiation process. For example, if you ask to work full-time from home or remote and they are hesitant, provide a hybrid alternative.
Get it in writing
Get the agreement in writing, whether you agree on permanent remote work arrangement or a trial term. Following up with your manager via email is an easy way to confirm the specifics. As a result, the agreement is documented and will be followed regardless of a change in management.
They can say “no”
If you still get a no after going through these processes, speak with your manager about their concerns. That way, you can identify and eliminate any hurdles as soon as possible. At the very least, you can ask to revisit the discussion in a few months.