3 Tips To Negotiate Remote Work (At Your Current Job)

As seen on Forbes.

Remote work has become increasingly popular. Initially, it was just a COVID-19 pandemic response, but through the years, it has shown promising outcomes. It offers flexibility in work hours and location, as well as cost-saving opportunities. 

This preference for a remote work setup was evidenced by a survey among 3,000 employees and freelancers. 98% of respondents prefer to work remotely and would recommend the same setup to others. However, more companies are requiring their employees to return to the office. In late January 2024, IBM managers were told to come to the office or quit their jobs. This makes people start to question how to navigate the situation.  

So, what if you currently have an in-office job and remote work is not part of your culture, can you still negotiate? Yes, you can. Here are 3 things you want to keep in mind when negotiating a remote work setup. 

Show How Remote Work Can Add Value To The Company

Negotiating on introducing a remote work setup requires a tactical approach to achieve a win-win outcome for both you and your employer. To do this, highlight how a new arrangement adds value to the company. Remember to balance your personal preferences with organizational interests for them to consider your proposition. 

One of the easiest ways to show the direct impact of remote work on company spending is having reduced costs in renting office spaces and paying for utilities. It also ensures business resilience and continuity amid possible disruptions against unforeseen circumstances like adverse weather conditions. 

Remote work could also result in increased productivity for the team, as they create a personalized and focused work environment to accomplish more goals with fewer distractions. 

Negotiate When You’re A Star At Work

Convincing your employer to start a remote work culture starts with good timing and strategic positioning. This means you need to have leverage to negotiate. The best time to do so is when you’ve already proven your value to the company, when you’ve been exceeding expectations, or when they see that you deserve this added benefit. 

You can slowly ease your employer into considering a remote work setup by suggesting a trial period. During this time, demonstrate that you can maintain or even improve your performance by agreeing on clear goals and performance metrics. You can also mention that the State of Hybrid Work 2023 reported 91% of its respondents say they are “the same or more productive in their working style” when given flexibility on their work setup, as employees’ productivity remains their main concern with not having full access to their employees. Emphasize too how the new arrangement will lead to increased job satisfaction and better work-life balance. 

Since this is a negotiation, be open to compromise. Your employer would be more willing to consider the shift if they see that you’re willing to find beneficial solutions, such as a hybrid arrangement where you only have to report to the office 1 to 3 times a week. 

Showcase How Other Top Companies Are Doing It Too

Playing in the big leagues takes implementing these big leagues’ strategies to achieve success. Use this analogy when negotiating a remote work setup with your manager by showcasing some of the successful companies that embraced remote work arrangements. This list from Indeed shows 100 of the best remote work companies for this year including Microsoft, Intuit, SAP, Splunk, and Johnson & Johnson. Although they offer a variety of setups including a hybrid arrangement, one thing in common is that they provide their employees greater work flexibility and reduced commute. 

But, sometimes, the best way to have the most value when negotiating is to get a competing offer from a company that gives you what you want. So if you have another offer that’s going to pay you better and/or allow you to do remote work, use that to negotiate a remote arrangement at your current job. 

BONUS TIP: Be graceful when negotiating and work with your manager to come up with a plan to execute remote work. Good managers, most of the time, want to reward star talent. But give them time to talk to the higher-ups to get it approved. Remember that just because it takes time doesn’t mean that it will not happen, so be patient.

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