A lot of forward thinking companies are offering a work-life balance, embracing flexible work arrangements and recognise the benefits of employees working from home. However, before you speak to your manager about flexible work arrangements, find out all the ins and outs of working from home to put you in a stronger negotiating position.
Is flexible work arrangements really for you?
Working from home isn’t for everyone. While some people enjoy the freedom of working in their pyjamas and not having to suffer a long commute to work, others will feel socially isolated and prefer to come to a physical office and enjoy the day-to-day interaction with colleagues.
Before you make the big move, you may want to experiment and test the waters by spending a few days a week working from home to see whether if it is really for you. After the novelty wears out and the boredom or social isolation hits, you may find yourself longing for a traditional work environment.
Have you done your research?
There are many benefits for employees working from home and you need to include these advantages in your proposal to your boss. Some of these benefits include:
- increased motivation and productivity
- improved retention rate, lower absenteeism levels and increased loyalty
- cost savings for the company in terms of office space, stationary and other costs
- lower work-related expenses for the employee
- improved work-life balance and employee morale.
Is your job suited to flexible work arrangements?
Your role may be a client-facing role or require liaison with different team members or departments or working with technology or machinery and thus may not translate well to a work at home environment. Jobs that are ideal for flexible work arrangements have the following characteristics:
- a role that requires little face to face interaction
- a role that can work independently of a team such as a copywriter, designer or accountant
- a role that requires minimal software and equipment
- a role that requires minimal supervision.
Are you suited to working from home?
It’s important to get the runs on the board before trying to negotiate flexible workplace arrangements. While the nature of your role will be a huge factor in the decision making process, other key factors will include your work performance, work habits and personal characteristics. Here are some of the things your manager is likely to consider:
- Are you a person who is self-motivated and disciplined?
- Are you organised and able to manage your time efficiently?
- Are you able to work self-sufficiently and with minimal supervision?
- Do you meet or exceed job expectations?
Employees who constantly hit deadlines, can work with minimal supervision and can work independently of their colleagues are good candidates for working from home.
You may find that in order to achieve a work-life balance, you may enjoy a blend of working from home and working in an office. Flexible work arrangements and working from home bring their own unique challenges and isn’t for the faint-hearted so do your research before you transition into working from home.