While many companies are pushing office return dates to summer 2021, others like Zillow, Twitter, and Square have announced that they will allow employees to work remotely indefinitely.
If that’s work arrangement you’d like, this may be the perfect time to make such a request.
“The “future’ of remote work has been accelerated by years, causing companies to reconsider their workplace policies and how they offer flexible work to their employees,” Jordan Carroll, career coach focusing on remote work, told Cashay. “However, some companies are still having workers shuffle back into offices, regardless if they can do their jobs from home or not.”
If your company has been reluctant to keep your remote work arrangements for the future and your position allows you to do your job from home, here are a few practical steps you can take to make your case.
Do your research
Before making the big request, make sure you know who you should be speaking to in your company and that you have the numbers to back the pitch you’re making.
“Depending on the size of your company, this could be human resources, your direct supervisor, or department manager,” Ashlee Anderson, career coach focusing on remote work, told Cashay. “This is also the time to gather positive performance indicators and achievements at your current role so you can highlight just how valuable and trustworthy you are.”
That may include everything from sales numbers, performance reviews to awards and recognitions. You should gather any data or numbers that can make the case that you’ll get the job done no matter if you're in the office or at home.
After you get all that information and you know who you should contact to begin the process, evaluate the leverage you have at your company, according to Carroll.
“To gain leverage, you need to be an indispensable part of the organization,” he said. “If you've not been able to prove your effectiveness working in an office environment — or during partially remote stints — you haven't given them a reason to trust you.”
Find a way to extend your value and become an essential part of the company. This can be done by delivering exceptional work, meeting deadlines on time, communicating well with the team, and helping your team members become better.
Consider starting small
Telling your employer that you’d like to work remotely may be a big push, so if you’re worried that your chances are low, start small with a trial period.
“As you develop a proposal, think about the minimum amount of days that would make a difference for you, but also have a higher likelihood of being approved,” Carroll said. “Remember, you don't have to hit the home run right away. And it's better to get a couple days from a home a week rather than be turned down for going too big.”
What starts as a few days a week may turn into a full workweek after you prove that this setup is efficient for you and the company.
Make the pitch
Come up with an action plan. What will your remote work situation look like and present that to your employer.
“Your remote work plan should indicate how you'll be reached during office hours, what your workspace will look like, ways you'll be able to collaborate remotely with coworkers, and how you'll be successful in a remote work environment,” Anderson said.
This is the time to show that you have done your homework and make the case that your great results will transfer over to a remote setting. Provide examples of how you’ll coordinate work with your coworkers such as using Trello to manage projects, Slack channels for communication, and Zoom for meetings.
“The more detailed your plan, the better your employer will be able to see just how effectively you can work from home,” Anderson said.
Read more information and tips in our Advice section