How to Negotiate a Post-COVID Work-From-Home Schedule With Your Boss
The post-pandemic world may well include the ability for more of us to work from home, but if you’re trying to make that change permanent, be ready to do some homework. It may be great for you and your family, but if you can’t make it worth it for your boss and company, it won’t happen.
If you’ve done some work from home during the pandemic, or just seen others doing it, you should be within your rights to at least try it. That being said, the ability to work from home needs to be paired with a benefit for your boss. If you work for a large organisation spread across several time zones, can you provide support earlier or later in the day than the standard 8 to 5? Can you get software and training put in place to provide a specialised service that would reduce labor hours of staff in the field? If you want flexibility, you’ll need to offer some in return. Write up the benefits for your organisation, as well as your plans for making it work, and present it to your boss in a scheduled meeting.
Define Your Hours and Space
One of the nice things about working from home is that you can do laundry on your coffee break. However, when presenting your work from home plan to your boss, make sure that you define your hours and your workspace. Your computer setup will need to be fixed, or at least firmly scheduled. When you say you’re on the clock, where will you be physically located? If you have an office at home and consistent internet, share that information. Workers called into a virtual meeting can’t be delayed by disruption at home.
Do you have co-workers who work primarily from home? Interview them. Find out what they do differently from home and how they negotiated this flexibility in the first place. Be aware that you may start a flood of requests, or if the flood underway, that you may not be the only person requesting such a schedule. Be ready to demonstrate flexibility. No, you may not be able to work from home every day. Could you negotiate the chance to work from home Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and be in the office on Tuesday and Thursday? Stay flexible. It will help you to stay hopeful.
A flexible schedule is a benefit that isn’t available to all employees. Be ready to keep track of your hours, the projects you finish and the quality of your work. Study what other folks are getting done and do your best to exceed their productivity. You may be paving the way for other employees to work from home. If you handle it badly, you may make it impossible for others and can even put your job at risk.
The 9 to 5 grind has been a tradition for a long time. If your company is not excited about the option to work away from the office, you may be breaking a solo path to your home office. However, the benefits of this schedule for your home life and your family can’t be denied. To make a permanent switch to working from home, you’ll need to demonstrate that the change will benefit your organisation.