Many companies say “we’re not set up for that” when it comes to working from home or working remotely on a consistent basis. Yet innovations in security, connectivity and collaboration make it easier for people to work outside of the office.
There shouldn’t be any argument about the ability to scale or prosper. The software company Elastic, received more than $104 million in venture capital funding on way to their IPO where shares soared 94% in the first day of trading. They did this with the majority of their employees working remotely and now have more than 400 employees across 30 countries.
If your manager has yet to see the light or you’re launching a remote team, we’re here to help improve your chances for success.
Confirm Your Mindset
As with most big lifestyle changes, the first step is to take time to evaluate. Some people think remote work is the solution for unrelated problems. For instance:
Job Satisfaction – If you don’t find joy when you show up to work, the issue probably goes beyond just the office dynamic. Switching to a remote role won’t fix poor relations with coworkers or suddenly make you feel satisfied with your career.
Commute – Anyone who has a brutal commute will find the idea of remote work attractive. This is a common reason for remote work popularity, but it doesn’t hurt to consider alternative options such as moving or carpooling.
Life Priorities – Working from home is a godsend for those with newborn children, and it’s a valid reason. But if various life priorities are the only reason for working remotely, your boss will have a harder time getting behind the idea.
Once you have a comprehensive list of reasoning, consider the pros and cons.
The pros are obvious. You can work when your body and mind are functioning at a high level. You have the ability to focus whenever there’s a detail-oriented project or hard deadline. Plus. there’s evidence that remote workers have a productivity boost, healthier lifestyle, and more.
The cons are often overlooked. One drawback is the lack of human interaction can lead to less harmony among teams. And a general feeling of isolation, which is more prominent when teams are split between remote and in-office. Successful all-remote companies like Zapier and InVision set out to develop cultures that address these issues. Make sure you’re comfortable with these possible challenges.
Remo helps with the isolation problem by bringing the humanity back to online communication.
Consider Policy and Tools
If you’ve already considered and evaluated the pros and cons, it’s time to get actionable. One reason many companies don’t offer flexible work environments is the lack of a remote work policy. This document requires critical thought, time and probably isn’t anywhere near a busy manager’s to-do list.
Create a remote work policy template for your organization. Define what remote work means in terms of working from home vs. working from anywhere. Answer questions such as, is it possible to have team members work from different time zones? What logistic changes need to be made?
Other areas to include:
- Required equipment
- Work hours and availability
- Security and confidentiality
- Agreement and expectations
This document is a policy in the traditional sense but much more. It’s a communication charter for your remote team. Learn more about creating documents for remote team communication.
Your sample policy should include insight on remote work tools and technology. This could be how to use existing tools and make sure they’ll work seamlessly with new conditions. Think about new tools that will help the entire team.
Remo can help bridge the gap between remote and non-remote workers by creating virtual watercooler opportunities.
Develop a Strategic Pitch
Armed with the right mindset and policy template, the final step is to get strategic with your request. Step into the shoes of your manager and make sure you’re demonstrating how this is a win-win situation. A few tactics to try.
Encourage a remote culture – Encourage teammates to review your remote work policy and provide feedback. If multiple people support the idea, your manager won’t feel like they’re giving you special treatment.
Trial period – Offer a trial period where you can prove yourself. Demonstrate how everything will work and identify which challenges should be addressed before going live.
Data-driven pitch – Bring data and case studies about productivity, testimonials, and examples of world-class all-remote companies (such as Elastic) or traditional corporate environments that transitioned to flexibility.
Lastly, the entire process of a remote work pitch needs to be supported by a strong sense of determination. You have to know this is the best choice for you (and the company) and be strong-willed when it comes to overcoming objections and hurdles. Think like a salesman. Know your audience (management) and deliver a pitch that resonates with them.
This post is originally written by Milton Herman from Gotopple.com