So, you want to work remotely… with the tech we have available the good news is that you probably can. Your only challenge is that you’ll need to convince your employer, and here is how.
Your boss will likely have a few basic reservations. They will probably want to know:
- Will you still do the work on time?
- How can I interact with you while you’re out of the office?
- How will you attend the meetings you have scheduled?
- How much will this cost?
- Why do you want to work remotely?
Most of these questions have streamlined tech solutions, which you may even be using already.
There are many apps out there to manage workload and timekeeping (we use Asana, JIRA, WorkFlowMax, Google tools) so your boss will always know what you’re working on and how far through you are.
Communication tools are also just about everywhere. Email, messaging tools (Slack, Yammer, Skype, Facebook, Google Hangouts) and good old-fashioned phone calls all work just as well at any distance, just to name a few.
Virtual meetings are becoming more and more common, and the tools are only getting better. We’ve tried Skype, Google Hangouts, Sococo, Tawk, Facetime and phone calls and all have their strengths. You may just need to try out a few to find your team’s most appropriate option.
Let’s talk dollars and cents. Besides the initial time and cost to find the right tools for you, it’s actually cheaper to have remote workers. No more paying for desks, chairs, coffee, etc as the remote worker does that for themselves. You could even rent out that extra desk and generate new income through desk sharing!
Finally, it’s important to be open about why you want to work remotely. It may be so that you can juggle family life better, meaning your head will be more focused on work while you are working. It may be so that you can get in an hour at the gym in the morning instead of sitting in traffic, making you healthier so you’ll need fewer sick days. Maybe you just want more time to sleep, which will improve your focus. There is always a benefit to the employer, so it’s a good idea to go into the conversation prepared.
Be honest with your employer about it, they’ll find out the truth anyway and it’s best to have the open dialogue.
You could suggest a trial period on a part-time basis, maybe one day a week when you know you usually don’t have meetings. Nut out all of the teething issues, and resolve them. Not only will this give you time to get into the swing of things, but it’ll also give your employer some time to get used to the idea and maybe reduce concerns they may have.
For further reading have a look at this blog which covers some excellent points around measuring virtual work and the social aspect (in particular, the lack of it) and really reinforces that remote working is really very do-able!