You’ve finally received that email you’ve been dreading for a long time.It is finally time to get back to work full time and join everyone at the office.
After several months working from home, does the thought of a daily commute and sitting all day at the office sound dreadful? If the answer is yes, then this article is for you.
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Amidst the calamities and tragedies that have been littering in the last year, the deadly pandemic has given rise to a positive result – a worldwide appreciation for work-from-home. Major companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft have recently allowed their employees to work from home long-term. In contrast, some, if not many, are still skeptical about embracing the work-from-home (WFH) policy due to a lack of control over employee actions and the challenge of effective communication.
The work-from-home trend offers greater flexibility and a boost to productivity for many employees. However, today, with the increasing vaccination rates, employers are pondering over reopening their offices.
While asking for WFH isn’t odd, how can you convince your supervisor to grant you work from home without making it seem like special treatment?
If your productivity skyrockets while working from home, here are some tips to have a direct conversation with your supervisor:
1. Do your homework
If you wish to build a convincing argument, then arm yourself with the correct data and figures.As per the survey conducted by Bloomberg, around 40% of employees answered they would quit their current jobs instead of letting go of work-from-home perks.
Moreover, today, several organizations offer work-from-home job positions for business graduates.Do you have a master’s degree in business administration? In that case, you can seek out work from home MBA jobs if your boss makes you return to the office full time, or you can look up vacancies even to make some extra income on the side.
However, your boss won’t let go of a good employee that easily and might consider your request. Likewise, strengthen your case by showing how you can boost productivity and foster effective communication through virtual work.
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2. Demonstrate the benefits
Picture yourself as a supervisor. How would you feel when an employee comes to your office to request permission to work from home? Certainly, this idea might seem practical for the employee. Still, you would probably shut down the proposal right there if it doesn’t benefit your organization.
That’s why you should point out the benefits this arrangement will bring to the company when persuading your supervisor. For instance, start your argument by convincing your supervisor that working from home will minimize distractions and increase productivity. Not only this, the reduced noise level and fewer politics will help you complete tasks more effectively and efficiently.
What’s more? It will also help the company save substantial expenses as employees won’t use the office space.
3. Suggest a trial run
It’s not unusual for employers to feel reluctant to accept this work arrangement. After all, adapting to significant and permanent changes is never an easy feat. And they might still be uncertain how to operate remote work permanently.
Therefore, don’t ask for absolute autonomy out of the gate. Instead, consider this as a golden opportunity to suggest a short trial run. The trial period can help you prove to your supervisor that you can work more productively in a remote setting. For example, initiate a small talk and suggest your supervisor let you work remotely for two days each week every month.
But, ensure to be available to your supervisor and teammates at all times so they can reach out to you whenever necessary. In addition, try to gain the trust of your supervisor by reporting the tasks you have accomplished all day.
4. Pick a suitable time
For conversations like these, timings are critically important. Don’t just barge into your boss’s room at the lunch break to discuss your case. Nor should you ask for this work arrangement through email. Instead, wait for the appropriate time.
Try to have a one-on-one conversation with your boss rather than bringing up this issue out of the blue. That way, you can have time to ponder over your points and discuss your request calmly.Or better yet, address your case just after the annual performance review meeting.
You can highlight the projects and tasks accomplished while working from home. Had you not been allowed to work in this remote setting, it might have been challenging for you to make such strides.
5. Prepare for contrary response
As much as you would like to leave your supervisor’s room with an answer, it’s important not to rush things. Instead, once done with the conversation, provide some space. That is because your supervisor probably needs time to chew the cud and weigh the implications.
Also, brace yourself for a contradictory response. For instance, if you receive a finite no as an answer, understand your boss’s viewpoint and mentally prepare yourself to adapt to the current reality. And try to manage things as you used to do when working from home. Such as you can catch short breaks in between or ask the HR department to create a welcoming work environment.
Suppose you are someone who does a traditional 9-5 daily grind. In that case, convincing your supervisor to let you keep working from home can be an uphill struggle.
Nonetheless, remember, significant changes always take time. Most of the time, the opposition to work-from-home culture isn’t due to your boss’s disapproval. Instead, the idea is so uncomfortable and new that your boss may need time to process and analyze it with objectivity.
Just be sure to do your complete homework with empirical evidence and assure your boss that it’s a win-win situation for both.