Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the way we do business has changed dramatically. More people are working from home or in remote locations, and many are working different hours as a result. The traditional 9-5 has become less strict considering people aren’t all in the same office anyway. So, if you had a taste of remote work during the pandemic and you’d like to continue this sort of arrangement, we’ll show you how to negotiate with your employer.
What is remote working?
There are generally two types of remote work arrangements that you could negotiate with your employer.
Working from home
Many people were forced to work from home during pandemic lockdowns, and many found it quite beneficial. Hours may also become flexible under these arrangements, especially if you need to drop off and collect kids from school. Whether you’re given any company equipment or not really depends on the type of work you do, but if not financially reimbursed by your employer, there are tax benefits to working from home.
Working at a remote location
There are several places you could set up for work, such as co-working spaces or serviced offices. This type of office environment is usually paid for by the employer, and rather than being just a pandemic solution, it’s a more long-term arrangement. It allows businesses to have a presence in more locations, create networking opportunities, be more accessible to clients and save money on renting one large office space.
How to negotiate remote or flexible arrangements
If you’d rather work remotely, here are some tips on negotiating this type of arrangement with your employer.
Clearly define your desires work arrangements
Every good negotiation has a starting point, or a specific request. If you simply ask your employer to work different hours, they’ll likely tell you to come back when you have a clear proposal. So, get on the front foot and think about your ideal working arrangements.
Do you want to work the same hours, but do it from home? Perhaps you want to work from a co-working space because it’s closer to your home. Or, do you want a hybrid arrangement where you split your time between home and the office or co-working space?
Clearly define your ideal work situation, and start the negotiation from there.
How does it benefit the business?
Whenever you have any suggestions in your workplace, the first question your boss will consider is how it benefits the business. Most companies understand that they need to work harder at giving people a better work/life balance, but it can’t be to the detriment of the business.
For example, if you have a long commute and want to work closer to home, perhaps suggest your business rents some space in a co-working area. You could highlight benefits such as:
- More locations for clients to access your services
- Meeting rooms available for client meetings
- Co-working spaces usually have prime addresses, which is great for business reputation
- More networking opportunities
- Technology and admin support required if necessary
- Opportunities for other staff to join you
- Spaces available for functions and events
Alternatively, if your desire is to work from home, tell your boss how it can benefit the business. You could make yourself available either earlier or later in the day giving clients more access by phone. You may work faster and more efficiently without office distractions. Whatever benefits you can think of, express them clearly.
If you want flexibility, you need to be flexible
While you may have a desired remote work arrangement in mind, be aware that you may need to compromise. Many employers may be happy for you to work from home 4 days a week, but ask that you also attend the office for a day. This may be to maintain a sense of ‘team’, or to attend weekly meetings in person. Or, they may give you more flexibility in your hours, but request that you still be available for particular time periods. So, be willing to compromise a little to get the flexibility you want.
Research how to make it work
Finally, employers like you to come with solutions rather than problems. So, if you want remote or flexible working conditions, do some research into how it might work. How much does a co-working space cost? Are there suitable vacancies in your area? Does your business have many clients nearby, or is it a geographical market worth pursuing? What technology would you need implemented to work from home and stay connected to the team?
Put yourself in your employer’s shoes, try to anticipate what information they’d like to have before making a decision, and you’ve given yourself the best opportunity for a successful negotiation.
For more information about co-working spaces and serviced offices in Wellington, contact the friendly team at Urban Hub today.