Let’s be honest: 2020 was not the best year.
2020 brought some of the most difficult challenges the world has seen in decades.
But despite all the problems caused by the COVID pandemic, it has at least forced many companies to restructure the way they manage their employees.
According Review42.com, “88% of organizations worldwide have made it mandatory or encouraged their employees to work from home after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.”
But as vaccines are starting to be distributed around the world, many people have come to a surprising conclusion.
His new role is not “remote work”, it is a “work at home” situation. And there is a difference.
In addition, many people are concerned about being forced to return to the office. So today, we are going to quickly outline the differences between “homework” and “remote work”.
Next, we’ll give you some practical tips on how to talk to your boss about the transition from “working from home” to complete “remote work”.
Work at home vs. remote work: What’s the difference?
Many professionals think that working from home is the same as having a remote job.
But the two employment agreements are different in nature, and many employees would prefer to be hired under the latter.
So, what does a “work from home” position mean? Here are some of the common features of a work at home role:
- It is a temporary situation, lasting a few days, a week or a few months, depending on the context (COVID can extend this definition to “a few years”)
- Your daily structure is probably the same as it would be in the office
- Working hours are usually more rigid
- Compensation for home office equipment is not guaranteed
Essentially, a work at home arrangement means that nothing about your actual work changes except the location.
Instead of making an appointment at 8:30 am in the office, you simply do the same tasks at home at the same time.
But how is this different from “remote work?”
Here are some common features about totally remote locations:
- Often, a permanent agreement from the beginning of your contract
- You structure your day according to your constantly changing tasks
- You have more flexibility with your schedule (except for customer support or similar functions)
- Full-time positions typically come with a bag for home office supplies
The real key here is Trust in and flexibility. In other words, it means that your employer trusts you enough to carry out your tasks from a remote location.
The exact times (with the exception of meetings) are flexible and you have much more autonomy in your day-to-day tasks.
Now, this is where things start to get interesting: in 2020, many employers were forced to allow employees to “work from home”.
And over time, these employees realized that they had more freedom, were more productive and had more time to spend with their families.
Not to mention that they no longer needed to waste 2 hours a day fighting traffic.
But as the world begins to recover from one of the worst years in decades, many employees fear they will be slowly sucked back into the office.
So today, we are going to give you 3 viable strategies to talk to your boss about transitioning from a “homework” situation to “remote work”.
“Homework” to “remote work”: defending your position
1. Start documenting your productivity NOW
The interesting thing about remote workers is that they do more. This is usually due to a number of factors.
First, there are fewer distractions at home (believe it or not) than at the office.
Yes, some remote workers can sit in their pajamas all day and have a Netflix spree. But they will not last long in the world of remote work.
Most of the time, responsible employees will open a home office and work normally. The difference? They don’t have colleagues to talk to in the halls, at the water cooler, in the parking lot or anywhere else where people tend to “chat” longer than they think.
Second, remote workers actually take less sick leave than their counterparts in the office.
That’s because, when you wake up at 6am with a throbbing headache, the idea of taking a shower, getting dressed, making coffee, carrying your car and going into the office seems terrible.
Probably because doing these things while you’re sick It is miserable.
But remote workers can get some sleep, don’t worry about how they look, and take short breaks during the day as needed. And instead of having lunch in a fluorescent light room, they can take a nap in the comfort of their own bed.
This leaves them feeling recharged for the afternoon and much more productive than if they had been sick in the office.
Finally, there are some people who argue that remote workers spend more hours and do more because they are preparing for the occasion.
When an employer shows that it trusts you, there is more pressure on the employee not to disappoint his digital team.
But none of these points matter, unless you can tangibly show your boss that they apply to you.
This means that you need to start tracking how productive it has been to show your employer that you are more than capable of transforming your “working from home” role into a permanent “remote working” position.
2. Search for successful companies with remote employees
Next, you should prepare a short list of companies that master remote work. One company that has done a great job is Awesome Motive.
They were completely remote before the pandemic arrived and, as a result, were not negatively affected by all the changes in 2020.
This is because they use the right tools for a remote team, structure the company to support remote work, and have a certain confidence in their employees.
What can you learn from these totally remote companies to help convince your boss?
Research the following topics as you find good examples of companies that hire remotely:
- What tools do they use to stay productive? This can help you present the idea realistically to give your boss more things to consider.
- How much do they save on office overhead? Note companies that are similar in size to yours. You can then calculate how much office space would normally require and how much this square footage would cost. This will probably make your boss wonder if he could also be saving overhead.
- What specific growth are these remote companies experiencing? It is not enough to just say, “Hey, look! This great company is remote, so we must be too! ”You need to have more concrete examples of how being just a remote company helped this company achieve its goals.
You should do this research for two reasons.
First, it will help you build an affair with your boss about why you should be allowed to transition from “working from home” to a full “remote working” role.
But, secondly, you can find other opportunities with companies more open to the type of contract you are looking for.
That way, if your boss says “No”, you still have a few options to stay away from the office.
3. Put things in the financial perspective
This last tip is short but important: your employer probably cares about you … but they care much more about the company’s growth.
For better or for worse, that’s usually the way it is (unless you work for a non-profit or charitable organization).
This means that you need to show how using the remote control will result in more profit for the business.
Instead of saying vague statistics like “Remote workers are more productive”, you should pull statistics like this from Business.com:
- Sun Microsystems saved $ 68 million in real estate when they were remote
- Dow Chemical saved 30% on non-real estate costs
These are not comments or debatable figures. They are hard and cold facts that any company would be crazy to ignore.
By spending a few hours researching more statistics like these, you will be better able to build a strong case of why you should switch to a remote role.
If you use the 3 strategies provided above, it will make the conversation with your boss much less awkward.
When it comes to the real conversation, be sure to keep it professional. You must:
- Ask in advance to schedule a virtual meeting
- Inform what the meeting will be about so that they have time to digest the idea
- Prepare your materials (such as examples of how you are more productive and statistics from other companies)
- Be ready to leave some time for your boss to consider the idea
- Follow-up after a week or more, if necessary
Remember that your employer has the right to say “No”. But YOU are also entitled to research other remote work opportunities that meet your needs.
And, as more companies offer remote locations (in the true sense of the term), your chances of finding the right situation are greater than ever.