The COVID-19 pandemic flipped the idea of work on its head in 2020, and we are still seeing the pandemic’s aftermath today. One of the largest effects was the sudden change from working in a traditional office setting to working from home.
In a January 2022 Pew Research Center study of 5,889 workers, 61% of people said they are working from home because they want to. Only 38% of remote workers said they are not returning to the office because their workplace is closed or unavailable. Those stats have completely flipped from October 2020, when 64% of people said they were working from home because their offices were closed and 36% said they were choosing to work remotely regardless.
If you have the tools to do your job at home and would like to continue doing so, here’s how to convince your boss to let you work remotely:
A 2015 Stanford study showing a 13% increase in productivity among remote employees has by and large held since the start of the pandemic, mainly due to turning the average 54-minute commute time into a simple walk to the workstation. Employees who can start their day ready to work without the stresses of a long commute are a net gain.
While those statistics tell a compelling story, excelling in remote jobs is a trust exercise between employers and employees. Your company needs to trust that your work will get done at the same level. Before approaching your boss, gather a list of your top accomplishments (similar to listing accomplishments on your resume) since you began working from home to show that your performance and productivity has not faltered – even better, show that it has improved.
While work-from-home jobs can have a bleeding effect on an employee’s personal life, current remote workers report high satisfaction with their work-life balance. In the same Pew Research Center study, a large majority (64%) of people working from home now who did not do so before the pandemic say it is easier to balance work with their personal life, and 72% say working from home has not affected their ability to advance in their job.
Convincing your boss that this is the case for you requires knowing what metrics your job performance is measured by and continuing to meet (or exceed) them while telecommuting. To set yourself up for success should you convince your boss to let you work remotely, check out our tips to work from home productively.
Hiring a new employee is expensive, and losing a valuable worker can cost an employer up to $30,000. Flexible and remote working arrangements can reduce turnover as 41.3% of employees said that a flexible schedule would convince them to stay in our Talent Retention Report. Additionally, 31.8% stated remote work options would keep them from leaving.
While we are in the middle of a Great Resignation that saw a record number of employees voluntarily leave positions, tread carefully on this topic with your supervisor as threatening to leave unless your demands are met can irreparably harm your relationship with the office. Having an open dialogue that explains how a shift to remote work (or hybrid work) will help you stay engaged and meet your needs is great, but it is a two-way street and you must be able to show value to your employer in this capacity. Additionally, highlighting this retention data may convince your employer to consider allowing more employees to work from home while also making the company more attractive for new talent.
Work from home jobs are a boon to companies’ bottom lines. Global Workplace Analytics estimates that a typical US employer can save an average of $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year between increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and real estate costs. Sharing those potential savings is one of the best strategies of how to convince your boss to let you work remotely.
If you and your boss reach an impasse on keeping you working remotely, you may be able to reach a compromise and come out ahead while still going into the office.