For many people, the last year has opened up previously unobtainable opportunities for remote work and the added flexibility it affords. Even before the pandemic, 83% of workers believe they don’t need to be in an office to be productive. Whether you are enjoying a more comfortable workplace at home, the ability to squeeze in a workout between meetings, time and cost savings from the lack of a commute, or better childcare options, we all have our reasons for wanting to continue working remotely.
Now that vaccines are widely available and companies are planning to reopen their physical office locations in the next few months, employees must now decide how comfortable they are with their companies' reopening plan.
But what should you do if you’re not comfortable going back to the office? What if you aren’t ready to give up the flexibility you have in your schedule since you aren’t commuting? How do you bring this up to your manager and propose a 100% remote schedule?
The earlier you have the conversation about long-term flexible work arrangements with your boss, the better. It’s also important to be completely upfront and transparent about your situation and your reasons for wanting to stay remote. Over the last year, most companies have not only realized that workers can be just as productive working remotely as they are in-person, but that they must embrace flexibility in order to retain and compete for talent. We believe to stay competitive, many companies will now offer employees a hybrid work model or the option to work remotely full-time.
If your company is pushing for a return to the office, we’ve shared a basic email template to help start the conversation and break the ice.
Subject line: Request to work remotely for the long-term
Dear [manager’s name],
As you know, we’ve been working from home for the last year due to COVID-19 and I have found that my productivity has not only increased, but I’m able to better focus on my work and get projects done more efficiently without in-office distractions.
I would like to speak with you about my options for continuing to work from home regularly after our office reopens and only come in on an as-needed basis. I will maintain transparency with my schedule and workload and continue to collaborate with coworkers through email, chat, and video calls. I believe this will allow me to have a better work-life balance, maintain my productivity, and work through commuting hours, as needed.
I’ve done a lot of research and reflection on the implications of remaining fully remote and believe [company name] has set me up with the tools to succeed.
Are you available to schedule a meeting to continue this conversation in the next few days? Look forward to hearing your thoughts and thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely, [your name]
When crafting a work from home ask, it’s important to personalize it and include a list of benefits, a clear plan, address any potential issues, and set up a live meeting with your manager. Just because your company's office reopens, doesn’t mean you necessarily have to jump right back into your pre-pandemic commute. While some business leaders may remain hesitant to allow a continued remote schedule, all employees should feel empowered to ask for options that best suit their new lifestyle.