How to Continue Working Remotely Even If Your Company Goes Back to the Office
The pandemic has made work from home a reality for many workers, and many of them discovered that they actually enjoy working from home and aren’t too keen to going back to the office and resume working habits that they have now lost and replaced with the freedom of working alone in their own preferred environment.
When companies started to roll out optional returned work plans, they discovered that not many employees wanted to go back to the cubicle. This is because it’s so much easier for employees to balance their careers with family responsibilities when they work from home. Life as we knew it changed dramatically in just under a year, with many schools switching to remote learning, so there’s no wonder that people want to be able to be at home and spend time with their family without having to neglect their career.
But all good things must come to an end, and numerous companies are very likely to roll back their work from home offerings once vaccines become available and the pandemic starts to become a thing of the past.
This will happen for multiple reasons, with preserving company culture being one of the most important. It is difficult for many companies to preserve that culture via a video screen rather than the old way, which means that many employees will find themselves in a pickle, especially if schools continue to operate according to a schedule that incompatible with going back to work full-time in office.
So, if you want to make sure that remote work is still an option for you even beyond the pandemic and you would like to continue working remotely, here are some ideas that can help you achieve that goal and continue to be able to spend as much time as possible with your family and take care of any other responsibilities you might have.
1. Gather supporting evidence
If you have decided that you would like to continue working remotely, you should gather supporting evidence to show your company that you are just as productive working from home as when you did it in an office. You shouldn’t rely on general statistics in order to support your argument, but you should actually show that you are more productive working from home.
For instance, you can show that it took two hours to do a given task when you were working in the office, but it’s only been taking you one hour on average since working from home. It’s generally not enough to tell your manager that he worked better from home, but if you have some metrics available, they are likely to speak for themselves.
2. Prove that you are a great fit for remote work culture
It’s also important to show management that you are well aware of the fact that there’s more remote work culture than simply getting to work every day in your pyjamas. There are multiple ways to do this, and you should start by showing up on time to all meetings.
If you have been working remotely for a while, you may have noticed that people tend to show up late for virtual meetings, so it’s extremely important to make a point of being on time. This will show your manager that you are a great fit for working remotely and that you won’t be a burden for the team.
If you’re trying to sell management that you take working from home seriously, set up your home office for productivity. Do so by removing distractions and be sure that you are always in your home office when you call. It goes without saying that even though no one cares where you work from, you shouldn’t take any video cards from your bed.
3. Know when it’s the right time to ask
To improve your chances of success, make sure you are reading the room before you make the request to stay remote. It might not be appropriate to bring the subject up if your company hasn’t yet made any decisions about their remote work policies yet. You don’t want to have that conversation you have been preparing for only for your manager to tell you that that’s something you need to talk about later because there is still so much uncertainty going around.
4. Start a home-based business
If you’re an employee, there are no guarantees that you will be allowed to continue working remotely even if you do all of the above correctly. This means that for many people starting a home-based business is the best way to make sure that they continue to work from home.
The good news is that by no longer commuting to your office, you should have freed up to two to three hours a day to focus on other things. You should try and put some of that time to work on starting a side business, which will be your Plan B if something changes at your job.
Even if you are allowed to continue to work remotely, you can then keep your side business part-time and hang on to it as an insurance for the future. And who knows, it might even take off and replace your income from your main job at some point.
5. Keep your options open
Try to keep an eye on competition while still being in your old job. If you find yourself in the situation where you have to leave your company, you can try to transition into a similar position that is more friendly when it comes to remote working. You can do this by continuing to build up your network and making contingency plans to have something to fall back on if your employer is adamant that you should return to the office, and that is not an option for you.
If you want to continue working remotely and your employer will not allow this, Search Remotely can help you to get placed in a remote job with an employer who does allow for full flexibility and a full-time work from home policy.
Search Remotely is the world’s most established platform for remote workers that are looking for remote jobs, online courses, coworking spaces and coliving accommodation. Remote companies can use our services to hire international remote talent and to scale up their remote teams.