- A recent FlexJobs survey found that 65% of workers want to become full-time remote employees post-pandemic.
- For many, this means working from home (WFH) or from other remote locations such as coworking spaces.
- When requesting remote work, it’s essential to present the benefits and advantages that this arrangement will bring to your company.
If you’ve been working from home since the pandemic started, chances are you’ve already found a new work rhythm that allows you to be productive while working from home.
Despite the fact that many workers have reported some negative aspects to working from home, the majority of workers have stated in recent surveys that they want to continue working from home, at least part-time.
A recent FlexJobs survey found that 65% of workers want to become full-time remote employees post-pandemic. 31% would prefer a hybrid arrangement that allows them to work some days from home and some days from the office.
Whether you’d like to work remotely permanently or part-time, you’re likely wondering how to best approach the subject with your manager, especially as more organizations get ready to welcome back employees to office.
FlexJobs found that some employees have already started to request the switch to permanent remote work arrangements post-pandemic. While some have been approved, others haven’t.
So, how can you increase your chances of being cleared to work remotely permanently?
FlexJobs’ career coaching team developed a template for requesting permanent work from home (WFH) arrangements. The template includes:
- Email example to request a meeting
- Proposal outline to present at the meeting including:
- The written request to WFH permanently
- Reasoning and benefits of a permanent arrangement
- Potential WFH schedule and communication details.
Email to Request a Meeting
Long-term remote work options
Plans for continued remote work vs. return to the office
Hello [manager’s name],
I hope you’re doing well! To best prepare for the coming months, I’d like to get a good sense of the company’s plans to return to the office and what the options are for longer-term remote work. Are you the right person to talk to, and if so, could we set up a call for later this week?”
Proposal Outline to Present at Your Meeting
Send this to whoever you’re meeting with the day before your meeting so they have time to review it.
A long-term remote work arrangement. [You may want to list the specific arrangement or arrangements you’d ideally like here. For example:
· Work from home 2-3 days per week
· Continue working 100% from home, with in-office visits as needed.
· Work from home through spring 2021]
Reasoning and Benefits:
Since beginning to work from home full-time during the pandemic, I’ve discovered just how productive and effective I can be at my job by working this way. This was also possible even though many other responsibilities and focuses shifted in my personal life. Like many of us, because of remote work, I continued contributing at a high level at work while taking care of unexpected and challenging life circumstances.
Specifically, while working remotely, I’ve experienced… [List specific accomplishments, achievements, and improvements related to work.]
· 95% client retention during a severe economic downturn due to excellent communication and availability outside traditional office hours
· 15% fewer PTO or sick days compared to last year because I can keep working through mild illnesses, when children are home sick, etc.
· Creative new ways of collaborating and communicating with coworkers leading to stronger working relationships
· A faster turn-around time on projects / content / brainstorms / client requests because of the increased focus that remote work supports
Potential Schedule and Communication Details
I understand how important it is for me to be reachable and available even when working remotely. Here’s how I can make that possible:
· Stick to predictable hours that overlap with the team’s for synchronous work
· Be available by email, phone, and online chat during work hours
· Announce my arrival and departure every day just as I would in the office
· Send schedule changes and other necessary info to anyone affected
· Dial into all meetings and use video whenever possible
· Make regular visits to the office and be available as needed for in-person meetings.
Benefits of WFH Arrangements for Employers
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, more organizations are coming around and warming up to the idea of remote working.
However, many organizations and CEOs are still skeptical about the benefits of remote work.
Among them, Reed Hastings, co-chief executive of Netflix Inc., said the following to the Wall Street Journal about working from home:
“I don’t see any positives. Not being able to get together in person, particularly internationally, is a pure negative.”
Similarly, Rajat Bhageria, CEO of robotics startup Chef Robotics, stated:
“We tried it…It’s just not the same. You just cannot get the same quality of work.”
Ellen Kullman, CEO of 3-D printing startup Carbon Inc., also expressed concerns about permanent remote work arrangements:
“What I worry about the most is innovation. Innovation is hard to schedule—it’s impossible to schedule.”
On the bright side, there are various organizations that are fully embracing remote work. Among these are Microsoft, Facebook, Dropbox, and Slack.
While there is no doubt that some things cannot be replaced by virtual settings, there are benefits associated with allowing employees to work remotely:
- 81% of survey respondents say they would be more loyal to their employer if they had flexible work options.
- 27% of workers said that the ability to work at home as much as they want is so important to them that they are willing to take a 10% to 20% pay cut to have that benefit.
- Employees who work remotely, at least part-time, have higher engagement than those who don’t ever work remotely.
- Organizations that have engaged employees report better productivity levels and employee performance.
- Allowing employees to work remotely can help broaden an organization’s talent pool.
- Organizations that plan to allow employees to work remotely can save costs by reducing their real estate footprint and overhead. Chris Herd is the CEO of startup FirstbaseHQ estimates that the difference between supporting employees in the office vs remotely is ten-fold, “going from $20,000 per employee per year in office space costs down to $2,000 per employee per year for a remote work setup.”
If you’re thinking about requesting a permanent switch to remote work, there’s one key thing that you need to keep in mind:
You need to present the benefits and advantages that remote work will bring to your company.
You need to be able to convey why remote work will be beneficial for the company overall, otherwise, your boss won’t be as motivated to let you work remotely, even part-time.