There are many of us who will have been working full-time from home at some point during the pandemic, over the past 18 months or so. However, things are slowly returning to some kind of normal. More and more of us will be back into the office full-time, or at least part-time. Many of us, though, will be wanting to know how to ask to work from home full-time. Times have truly changed.
Because of how we all had to adapt to working during the pandemic, many job roles changed slightly. Employers had to look for ways of working that were going to be more flexible. It goes to show that the work, in the majority of cases, you can do them from home. There just needs to be a shift in the mindset around working from home and working from the office. However, it’s often your boss whose mindset is most ingrained in the past.
If you are back in the office but would rather be working from home, then you’re not alone. In fact, when people work from home, they often work longer hours and are more productive. They don’t have any commute. There are no distractions from talking to colleagues. And they usually don’t take a full hour for a lunch break like they might if there was a city to wander around, get food, and look in shops.
So, you might prefer working from home for a number of reasons. In order to get more done. Also to have some flexibility when it comes to your personal or family life.
Asking to work from home full-time
There are many things that companies have done to adapt and change. And there are now many online platforms used for staff training, learning, meetings, and document sharing. In fact, if your employer has been using an online learning management system software such as Learning Bank, then you will know what a benefit it can be.
You can do the training that has been set, but you don’t have to be in the office to get it done. It just goes to show that there are platforms that make working remotely easier. Also that it can work for employees as well as employers.
Asking to work from home again full-time, or working remotely, is something that you might be considering talking to your line manager about. You have shown that you can do them work and that you are productive. Also that it could be better for your overall wellbeing, pandemic or not.
If you want to do this, then there are some good steps to go about it. As well as some to avoid. So here are the things that you can do if you want to propose that you carry on working from home again full-time.
What are the benefits of working from home or working remotely?
First of all, it is important to understand the benefits of doing this kind of work. Especially if you are planning a pitch to an employer. Some employers have more of a ‘bums on sets’ mentality when, actually, you don’t need to have so much of a physical presence all the time to get work done. Some roles will need this, such as customer-facing roles, but others can easily and more productively get work done from home.
When you’re asking to make the switch again, regardless of the pandemic, then you need to understand the benefits of home or remote working. Some of the important ones to highlight are:
— An increase in work and life balance
— Improved health and reduced stress as there is no commute. As well as a reduced interaction with others to reduce the spread of illnesses
— A more productive workday with fewer distractions from colleagues and other things going on in the office
— A decrease in costs for the business, as smaller office premises could be used. Also lower utility costs for the employer
— An increase in productivity as the employee can control their work environment more and plan their time well
— Employees need less time off, as they can attend appointments near their home on their lunch or pick up sick children from school and still be able to carry on with their work
How to approach your manager to ask for full-time remote working
Be clear on all of the details of the request before you approach them. Before you go to talk to them, you need to have a plan in place that you can present to them, in order to provide them with a convincing case. It shows you have really thought it all through and that you are serious about this. And that it isn’t just about being ‘lazy’ wanting to work from home. Some of the things to consider are:
— Connecting remotely to the work’s network. Do you need to have anything like a VPN in place and what are the steps that you’d need to take in order to make this happen?
— Are there any specific tools, equipment, or software that you need to have at home in order to get your job done? If this is the case, how will you access it all?
— What kind of tool will you use for regular communication with colleagues?
— If you lead a team or supervise a small team, how will you be able to manage this effectively from home?
The more planned out this is and the more details that you have for it, the more confident that your line manager will be in your request and your suitability to make it work from home.
List the benefits
Your line manager might be aware of the benefits of working from home. But it is still a good idea to back up your proposal when considering how to ask to work from home full-time. It shows that there is a case for your proposal and helps to back up what you are saying. There are some things to include, such as questions around how working from home could increase how productive you are.
Also, that it can improve how well you are able to perform your job. If it will all have a positive impact on the business then it is a no-brainer to pitch these to your employer.
Account for any potential problems that could arise
Things don’t always go smoothly, and no matter how many benefits you present to your employer, there are still things that can go wrong. But if you have shown that you have considered them and thought about how you will deal with them, then it can make a difference to how they view your proposal.
If you have children, for example, what will you be doing when they’re off sick from school. Or in between the hours that they finish at nursery and will be at home with you? Think through any potential problems that could occur when you’re working from home, and then the steps that you’d take to overcome them.
Connectivity issues, problems with the internet at home, childcare, illness, and other things should all be considered. Then, if your employer is hesitant, you can show them that you have thought it through thoroughly. Also that you have contingency plans in place for when things don’t quite work out to plan.
When you meet with your manager, try to keep it as an open conversation. Explain why you are making the request and highlight what work you were able to do during the pandemic. This will help you to back up your case and your argument for being more productive from home. Then you should be able to reach an agreement that will work for both you and the business.