The recent decision by Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer to insist that all employees work in the office has led to an outcry from remote workers, and companies that use remote workers, around the world. She has been criticised as being out of touch, failing to get with the times and missing out on all the benefits that remote working provides.
But banning remote working simply highlights the fact that many employers are still unsure about allowing their employees to work remotely. Often, they are concerned that they will see a drop in productivity, or that their employees will be unable to contribute to the team as well.
So if you want to work remotely in your job, how can you give your employer more confidence in the practice of remote working so that they too can see the benefits?
Suggest a Trial
Your boss may be terrified of the prospect of you going off and working from home, but part of that may be the idea of it becoming too permanent too soon. As well as highlighting all the benefits that you can think of, including the financial benefits of not having to provide a desk and equipment, try to convince your boss to give it a trial for a few weeks, or to start working one or two days a week from home. They are far more likely to give it a go if you have agreed that it will only be a trial, and this gives you plenty of opportunity to convince them of the benefits.
Show How It’s Done
Your boss may have no idea about the plethora of software available that makes remote working more of a possibility all the time. Set aside some time to demonstrate some of the tools that businesses across the world are now using with their remote workers. Highlight free tools like Skype, demonstrate the possibilities of a VPN, connect with your boss via online meeting software like LiveMinutes and show them the capabilities that are now available.
Highlight the Green Credentials
If your company is striving to go green and highlight its green credentials, suggest to your boss that if staff are allowed to work remotely they will cut down on CO2 emissions caused by travelling to work, which could be good for publicity.
Discuss It with Other Employees
If you are the only one in the office who wants to work remotely, there may be less chance that your boss is keen to give it a go. However, if you find out that many employees would like the opportunity to work remotely, your boss may be more inclined to start experimenting with it in order to keep the staff content and enthusiastic.
Find Out About the Competition
Nothing can get a boss to take action quicker than finding out that he or she is behind the rest of the competition in anything. Do some research into your competition and find out whether they are using remote workers. If they are, subtly mentioning this and the benefits that they may be getting from it could be a way to reassure your boss that it is not a waste of time. Even if your direct competition are not hiring remote workers, try to find some examples of other respected companies that are using it to their advantage to help demonstrate that it really does work.
Lastly, you have to show your boss that remote working really does work. There is no point finally getting your boss to give you the green light and then spending all day skiving. Trust plays a big role in remote working, so don’t let your boss down and make sure you prove that it really does have serious benefits.
Whatever Happens, Remote Working Is Here to Stay
Whatever Marissa Mayer says about remote working, the fact is that it is here to stay and it will only continue to become more commonplace. If you want to work remotely but you are worried that your boss does not see the benefits, put some of the above tips into practice and try to convince them otherwise.