As work flexibility becomes a hot topic for many companies these days, it’s easy to get caught up in the convenience of working at home and enjoy the flexibility that it brings. Not only can working remotely give you a great work-life balance, but it can also help you gain more experience for a future position or business that you’re working towards.
While some of us are longing for the day we can go back to the office, others are wishing we could work from home more even when/if things ever go back to normal.
In order to make your case for more remote work, it has to sit well with everyone in the company, not just the employee looking to have more work-life balance in his or her life. With that in mind, here are six mistakes to avoid when making the case to extend your remote work situation.
1. Not Communicating Well about the Transition
If you’re working at home and you’re loving it and getting on really well, you need to communicate this with your manager. Many businesses simply have employees come into the office because it’s the traditional way of working, but the pandemic has clearly opened up the chance for experimentation to take place.
In some cases, your boss may ask you to come back into work once lockdown and quarantine measures are being relaxed, but if you’re getting on better at home, this is a conversation you need to have. The modern-day workplace is changing, and if you’re getting on well by remote working, there’s no reason you should need to return.
Both employers and employees need to make compromises. Sure, there may be reasons to come into the office, but if there’s reasons can all be handled in one day, then maybe organizing a schedule where an employee can come into work one day of the week and remote work the rest could be the best choice.
Remember managers, some employees will work better and will be happier and more productive remote working, and forcing them to come back into the office may actually put you back, so be open to change and the new modern ways of working.
“If you’re an employee, and you present this idea of continuing remote work to your manager, you have to come prepared,” says Ellie Palmerston, a business writer at Study demic and Eliteassignmenthelp. “And, if you’re a manager, and your employee brings up the idea, you have to be a good listener. No matter what, it’s best to have good communication with each other. Employees can even create an outline to present to the manager on the reasons why remote work is a step towards the right direction for the company.”
Here are some questions to ask as you prepare for the conversation:
- How have you already been performing your position remotely?
- How will this affect your co-workers?
- How will this extenson benefit the company?
2. Not Getting Your Staff’s Perspective
As a manager, you’ll need to communicate this idea with your workforce – don’t assume that all of your employees will be on board with it. Explore your staff’s perspective and any concerns before establishing a remote-work setting. This gives employees the opportunity to be heard, and could help you spot any obstacles that can get in the way.
3. Doing It for Personal Gain, Instead of Professional Gain
Working remotely has its benefits (like flexibility and location-independence). However, as an employee, don’t assume that your manager will be on board 100%. Managers will (and should) care about your well-being and productively (and rightfully so).
So, when proposing this idea to your manager, focus on how much productivity, savings, global understanding, and fresh ideas that remote work will bring to the company. Not only will your boss have a better understanding of what you can do when you’re allowed to work remotely, but they’ll also appreciate the time you took to do your research beforehand.
This is especially important when the inevitable time comes when your boss or workplace could ask you to return to the office once lockdown measures become more relaxed. Both you and your boss will need to make compromises but remember that the business will be a priority for a manager. If you need to come into the office to attend meetings and carry out certain sensitive tasks, for example, and it’s in your contract to do so, then you’ll need to do this.
However, if you feel more productive and you get more work done and you’re mentally happier and more fulfilled remote working, then be prepared to fight your case. If you’ve been working hard and remaining professional throughout lockdown, you should already have the proof that your work won’t suffer.
4. Not Looking at Costs
Managers need to know the costs of everything in the company. Although remote work can save from having a lot of office space, you still have to pay your remote workers, and make sure that they have the right equipment (and enough of it) for the job.
In addition, if you outsource freelancers to some of the jobs in the company, then that will cost money too. Make sure you have the money to pull off remote work, whether you outsource, or have some of your current employees work remotely.
5. Goals and Expectations Not Set
“As manager, you have to hold every single employee accountable for the work that they do,” says Jake Beirne, a project manager at Uktopwriters and Bestbritishessays. “The same rules apply to remote workers. All remote staff needs to check in with the manager on a regular basis, so that they don’t fall behind. And everyone needs clear goals and expectations to follow.”
Also, as manager, don’t ever assume that your remote employees are around 24/7. Set up a schedule for your remote staff on when they’re available, and when they’re not.
6. Relying on Old Technology
Using email and phone is okay, but nowadays, remote work takes more than those two modes of communication. Many remote teams utilize video calls (any type of face-to-face communication apps like Zoom, Facetime, Skype, etc.) over phone calls, because they want their memos and messages to get across as soon as possible. Whether your team uses video calls or not, you’ll need to establish a sufficient mode of communication with your team members.
Makinig the case to keep working remotely may not be easy. For some people, it’s having that initial conversation with the boss go well. For others, it’s determining whether or not remote work will suit well for the company. As you keep in mind these common mistakes made, then managers and employees will have a better understanding about remote work, and can work together to come up with the best solution for their organization.
If you’re an HR professional and you’d like to join other HR Leaders in talking about keeping remote work as a long-term option or transitioning back to the office, consider joining our free Givitas group for HR leaders.Join Givitas for HR Leaders
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