How to ask your boss if you can work from home forever – Daily Mail - Freelance Rack

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Thursday, July 9, 2020

How to ask your boss if you can work from home forever – Daily Mail

Those wanting to work from home permanently after the coronavirus pandemic should approach their boss with a structured plan, an employment expert has revealed. 

Marko Njavro, co-founder of online job platform FlexCareers, says many people will continue working from home when mandatory remote working comes to an end, which varies from office to office.  

About 92 per cent of workers would continue to work from home regularly if they were given the opportunity by their boss, according to a survey by HR management company EmploymentHero. 

Meanwhile, 65 per cent would consider working remotely on a permanent basis. 

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Mr Njavro said employees should formulate a working from home plan before approaching their boss. 

‘I would recommend having it written down for yourself, but you don’t have to hit your boss up with a document on your first approach, rather use it for a structured discussion and to support your case,’ Mr Njavro said. 

About 92 per cent of workers would continue to work from home regularly if they were given the opportunity by their boss (stock)

About 92 per cent of workers would continue to work from home regularly if they were given the opportunity by their boss (stock)

About 92 per cent of workers would continue to work from home regularly if they were given the opportunity by their boss (stock) 

Workers should include five points in their plan, the first of which is to have a ‘very clear and structured idea on which days you’d like to work from home and the hours you will be available for your team or clients’.  

‘There are many different types of flexibility available and you need to approach your boss with clarity,’ Mr Njavro said. 

‘For example, “I’d like to transition to working from home on Thursday and Friday during the usual business hours”. 

‘If your request is for to work all your days from home, you will likely have to propose a transition period, where your days in the office reduce over time until you are WFH five days a week.’ 

Mr Njavro said workers should still show flexibility around being able to come into the office for important meetings. 

He also said people can use ‘evidence of improved productivity’ during recent working from home stints to back up their case. 

Concerns about health and safety could also be used to support a working-from-home case.   

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Mr Njavro (pictured) said employees should formulate a working from home plan before approaching their boss

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Mr Njavro (pictured) said employees should formulate a working from home plan before approaching their boss

 Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Mr Njavro (pictured) said employees should formulate a working from home plan before approaching their boss

The second step of the plan is to have an ‘effective handover’ to transition to working from home without negatively affecting colleagues.  

‘Once the new regime is in place, detail how you will include your team in your work. For example, scheduled weekly handover meeting on Wednesdays, and via summary email on Fridays,’ Mr Njavro said.

‘For those working from home exclusively, it would be something along the lines of daily or weekly video or phone calls with relevant people to check-in.’ 

The third step is to create a calendar that communicates to colleagues and clients when you are on the job. 

‘It can’t be a free for all in terms of randomly changing your days and hours. You need to make it very clear when you’re available, which could be done with a calendar or timetable,’ Mr Njavro said.  

‘There are other people on the team that are depending on you, so you can’t be a man or woman of mystery who casually jumps in or jumps out, and doesn’t returns calls or emails.’  

The fourth step is to document your work with a project plan, so colleagues are aware of what you are working on. 

An example of an email signature from a NSW Government employee that clearly showed they were available all weekdays except for Wednesday

An example of an email signature from a NSW Government employee that clearly showed they were available all weekdays except for Wednesday

An example of an email signature from a NSW Government employee that clearly showed they were available all weekdays except for Wednesday

Planning systems such as Jira, Trello and Monday.com allow workers to clearly communicate what they are working on and continue each others’ work. 

Lastly, the fifth step of the ‘five-step success plan’ is ‘visibility’. 

‘Ensuring calendars are always up to date so your availability is easy to determine. Include details of work days/time on email signature,’ Mr Njavro said. 

‘If you are in a job share, make sure your calendar is visible.’ 

The FlexCareers co-founder provided an example of an email signature from a NSW Government employee that clearly showed they were available all weekdays except for Wednesday. 

Even when offices return to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees are likely to continue working from home. 

A survey of 1,200 workers by HR management company EmploymentHero revealed that working from home is very popular among professionals.

About 51.8 per cent of workers either like or love working from home, 31.7 per cent ‘don’t mind it’ and only 16.6 per cent disliked it or preferred working in the office. 

The survey also revealed employees’ pet peeves about working in an office.  

About 59 per cent of employees do not miss the commute to work, 34 per cent disliked distracting colleagues, and 28 per cent were annoyed by sick people coming into the office. 

It also revealed the things people missed about working in the office; 63 per cent missed being able to brainstorm with colleagues, 50 per cent missed the office camaraderie and 36 per cent missed the ease of communication with bosses.  

THE FIVE-STEP SUCCESS PLAN TO APPLY TO WORK FROM HOME 

  1. Clarity on flexibility arrangements – There are many different types of flexibility available and you need to approach your boss with clarity. For example, “I’d like to transition to working from home on Thursday and Friday during the usual business hours”. If your request is for to work all your days from home, you will likely have to propose a transition period, where your days in the office reduce over time until you are WFH five days a week. Show some flexibility around being available to come in for important client or team meetings. With the recent/current WFH experience with COVID-19, you can use any evidence of improved productivity/outcomes to support your case. 
  2. Effective handover – A clear set of actions on how you plan to transition to your new way of working, without affecting your team. Once the new regime is in place, detail how you will include your team in your work. For example, scheduled weekly handover meeting on Wednesdays, and via summary email on Fridays. Topics include updates from meetings held on non-working days such as Projects Update, Management Meetings, etc. For those working from home exclusively, it would be something along the lines of daily or weekly video or phone calls with relevant people to check-in. 
  3. Team calendar – The key to transparency and accountability to ensure that remote teams don’t have one or more people acting as a bottleneck. Tool to map out known dates of activity such as management meetings, etc, and deliverables such as input due, to enable successful delivery of outcomes. 
  4. Documentation – Applying diligence in using a project plan (eg. Jira, Trello, Monday.com) as the central source of truth on each initiative, so that either team member can pick up and progress at any point in time.
  5. Visibility – Ensuring calendars are always up to date so your availability is easy to determine. Include details of work days/time on email signature. If you are in a job share, make sure your calendar is visible. 

Source: Marko Njavro, co-founder of online job platform FlexCareers

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