Many companies are still trying to determine how remote work fits into their long-term strategy. But it is clear many employees are interested in work from home opportunities.
Research has shown roughly a third of workers prefer jobs that are at least hybrid. And 27% would like roles that do not require them to go into the office at all.
Prior to the pandemic, only about 3.5% of Americans worked remotely halftime or more.
But now that so many people spent the past year and a half working remotely, there is more and more interest in doing so.
This negotiation process may vary slightly different depending on whether you are trying to negotiate with a current employer or if you are applying for a new job.
Past Behaviour is the Best Predictor of Future Performance
As a current employee, you have one significant benefit working in your favour: your HR profile.
If you have been a consistently productive employee throughout your time with the organisation, you are already negotiating from a good standpoint.
Focus on Benefits to the Company, Not Convenience For You
When asking for remote work arrangements don’t make it about you and the convenience the arrangement would offer you.
Focus on the company and how your ability to work remotely benefits the bottom line.
If you work in a position that requires you to have quiet time or focus deeply or if your role is solitary and there is no need to be around others on a regular basis, highlight that during your negotiations.
Show Data to Support WFH
Most companies make decisions based on data.
Provide data to help decision-makers understand what makes sense for them, and for you.
If you’ve seen higher returns over the last year than before WFH, highlight that.
Your supervisor may not realise working remotely has generated greater outputs than the work you did prior to work from home.
If you are in a new hire negotiating situation, refer to some of the results achieved in your previous job.
What were some of the KPIs? And how did you meet and exceed those while working remotely?
Be Proactive About How You Will Make WHF Work Long-Term
In the end, it’s going to be important for you to come to the conversation and give proactive ideas for how you can make remote work, work.
Be prepared to discuss how you will communicate and remain an active part of the team.
How will you be accountable?
What goals or outcomes will drive your focus?
And what metrics will you achieve?
Compromises May be Necessary
Aside from the work location, keep in mind that you may need to make a few sacrifices.
In episode 17, I referred to the fact that some companies are now cutting employees’ salaries if they move to locations that allow for a cheaper cost of living.
As part of working remotely, you may be expected to travel back to headquarters a few times each year. If so, you may need to foot the bill for part or all of those costs.
Get Agreements in Writing
Finally, these negotiations should not be a handshake deal.
Whatever is agreed upon, get it in writing.
Supervisors come and go. Companies are bought and sold. Make sure your arrangements are safe regardless of outside influences.
It may be possible to lock in the terms of your new work arrangements long-term, but it is also likely the organization may want a trial period until your next annual review.
Remote Work is Still Evolving
Many companies don’t know how they feel about remote work yet and whether this is the kind of workforce they want.
Don’t be put off if your supervisor is hesitant about negotiating remote work arrangements.
It is unlikely this will be decided in one conversation. It may take a few discussions and back and forth over a few weeks or a month to hash it out.
If your employer makes it clear remote work is a deal-breaker, there are many companies who are open to it, so don’t feel your hands are tied.