Notice: Want to work from home? Here’s how to get your boss to agree.
Pilgrim is Market Director and Jobs Expert at global talent management solutions company Robert Half. She lives in La Jolla.
One of the most significant changes for workers during the pandemic was the ability to work from home, which for many years was reserved for top executives or top performers in the company. As a result, workers at all levels were given the opportunity to work from home. Businesses and employees alike have realized that remote work can be done and is efficient. But what is the future of hybrid or remote work?
While many U.S. professionals have embraced hybrid work arrangements, our recent study found that a majority of companies anticipate a full return to the office once the pandemic is over. According to an August survey by our talent solutions company, Robert Half, of more than 2,800 senior executives, 71% of employers said they will require their teams to be on-site full-time after the restrictions. related to COVID-19 will be completely lifted. Much less (16%) will allow employees to follow a hybrid schedule, where they can split the time between the office and another location. Even fewer (12%) will give staff complete freedom to choose where to work. In San Diego, 67% of employers said they would require workers to return to the office full-time after the restrictions were lifted and only 16% said they would allow hybrid hours; 15 percent said they would let each employee decide.
What employers need to know in today’s talent-driven market is that workers can walk if they have to return to the office full-time. There is a big disconnect between what managers prefer and what employees expect, and companies need to put their employees first and look to the future. That being said, while our data shows employers expect to return to the office, a good number of companies in San Diego offer long-term hybrid models, and they are the ones that attract the best talent. If businesses want to attract the best, they need flexibility.
Employees have options in today’s tight job market, and there has never been a better time to negotiate remote work capabilities.
Before negotiating flexible work, make your current home work schedule count as an efficient and productive schedule for the business. Communicate more from the remote environment you are currently in. Be a tech champion too. Learn as much as you can about data sharing and collaboration applications. Ask for help learning the tech tools to make sure you are connected as much as possible virtually.
Here are some tips on how to best position yourself for these conversations with your manager.
Time well. Depending on your situation, you may be able to wait for an upcoming performance review or a regular one-on-one with your boss to bring up the topic. But if you can’t wait, schedule a specific time with your boss to discuss it.
Explain the benefits to the business using recent history. While there are many ways that a hybrid schedule will benefit you, it is much more effective to explain how your hybrid schedule can benefit your employer. It can be even more convincing if you use remote work statistics and how you have successfully helped the business grow while working remotely. Save your explanations.
Be specific. Make your request as specific as possible. For example, if you say, “I want to work from home a few days a week,” your manager might think that one day a week is enough. Instead, give a specific schedule and explain why you chose these days and discuss how this will help the business and your productivity.
Prepare your talking points. It doesn’t have to be as formal as a set of slides, but it can be if you like. Take a few notes to help you remember what you want to say. Be clear on how your hybrid schedule will help your boss, the team, and the business.
Practice in advance. Ask a trusted colleague or family member to listen to your outline and presentation. Seek honest feedback on your ideas. Are you specific enough? Do you save your request with data? Do you speak with confidence?
Focus on communication and accountability. Your ability to communicate and work effectively with your teammates will be critical to your success.
Offer a try. Your manager may be a little reluctant to try a hybrid work plan for a variety of reasons. If you feel resistance, offer a trial run to test things out. Work with your manager to establish concrete goals and objectives that can measure your productivity and performance.
Providing flexibility to employees is an inexpensive way to create a positive company culture and employee experience, which is essential to recruiting and retaining top talent today.