Well before COVID, most Americans (89%) believed employers should try to offer workers flexibility to meet their families’ needs, as long as the work got done. The the global pandemic shuttered our workplaces and many employers had no choice but to let employees work from home. Now, as the country reopens, workers are being called back to offices and some family caregivers, quite frankly, are wondering why.
If you hope to continue to blend work and life post pandemic, read on for tips on to how to keep working from home post pandemic — at least some of the time!
6 tips for talking to your boss
Gather evidence. Spend some time thinking about your wins working from home during the past year. You want to remind the boss that you met all of your deadlines, joined all of the team calls, were respnsive to messages, etc.
Be sure your requested schedule meets not only your needs, but your organization’s needs too. If you’re just asking for a day or two at home, don’t choose the day of the company staff meeting or the day you typically meet with the team face-to-face. Work around the company’s needs.
Understand and prepare for the fact that sometimes, you may need to change your plans. You might be needed in the office on a work-from-home day, or you might need to take a call or send a memo after hours. Do everything you can to accommodate those requests so flex works for everyone involved. Have a backup care plan if needed, know how you’ll get to the office on scheduled days at home, and make sure you can always access email and the company server remotely.
Set boundaries so you don’t burn out or build resentment. Many studies show workers who flex log more hours – that has certainly been the refrain this past year! Respecting the flex doesn’t mean you can never say no; it means you set expectations on the front end. Before you access flex benefits understand your organization’s expectations and share your own expectations too.
Over-communicate. It’s on you to build trust while you flex. Share where you are, what you’re working on, and how you can be reached – frequently.Show up where and when you say you will.
Flexibility is a two-way street. If you’re going to ask for flexibility, you need to be flexible. And it’s up to you to make it work.