work from home

How to Negotiate Permanent Remote Work

If you're hoping to avoid a full-time return to the office, it's time to talk with your boss about permanently working remote post-COVID

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced that 4.3 million Americans, or 2.9% of the entire workforce, quit their jobs in August.

Some who still want to quit might change their minds if they can continue to work remotely after the pandemic winds down.

Dr. Candace Flippin said many employees grew to really like working remotely.

"It's giving people time to really reconnect with their family. It's giving them time to reconnect with their day," Flippin said. "So think about all the things that typically you'd want to do if you were working remote -- access certain deliveries or certain things you had to have done at home, being able to not have to deal with that 30-minute or hour commute. So people have really appreciated the flexibility of having that time back in their day."

Mark Malone of Robert Half Talent Solutions agreed. Malone said, even if your employer has hinted they'd like everyone back in the office, you can still make a case for continuing a fully remote or hybrid work role.

"Do you want full remote or do you are you open to a hybrid scenario?" Malone said. "And don't just leave the hybrid scenario generic -- that could mean one day a week or three or four days a week in the office."

You'll want to be prepared to explain the benefits of working from home for the company.

"Make sure your plan touches on some of the things we've talked about in terms of your productivity. The hours they can expect you to be present, what your performance is going to look like," said Flippin. "You want to frame it in a way that your boss knows that it's good for that person and the company."

Malone said it's a great idea to offer to do a trial run.

"Put some objective goals in place, where you could actually measure your productivity and efficiency," Malone said.

"Maybe you propose to do it on a short-term basis," said Flippin. "You want to continue doing it for three months or six months and then assess."

And if your employer says no, are you prepared to move on?

"At some point, someone's going to have to make a decision whether they're willing to go back full time or they would go to another opportunity that would allow a little bit more flexibility," said Malone.

Bottom line, experts say there's nothing wrong with advocating for what you need to be both a more productive employee at work and a better caregiver at home.

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