How To Convince Your Boss To Let You Keep Working Remotely

Amanda Richardson, CEO, CoderPad.

It seems like getting people back into the office like the good old days of 2019 is suddenly the 2023 resolution for more than one prominent company.

It’s quite a change from the performative stoop that so many have been doing during the pandemic and great resignation. To work from home! Hybrid workplace! Maximum flexibility! Whatever you want! Now that the economic landscape is decidedly gloomier, layoffs abound, and tech’s salad days appear to be over (at least temporarily), companies clearly believe – albeit short-sightedly – that they are back in the driver’s seat and holding all the power have it in hand again.

But you, reader, may be wondering: how can I be one of the chosen few who can maintain the work-from-home regime I so cherish? There’s no reason why you can’t. After all, there are rules, and there are Rules-if you know what I mean. And for top performers, companies are suddenly finding the flexibility and creativity needed to keep them happy every time.

Here’s what I think top remote workers will accept that will keep them – and their bosses – perfectly happy with a flexible arrangement. And bosses, take note—employees who follow these tips and prove themselves are the ones you should consider first for remote work arrangements.

Show you have the discipline to stay focused

The reality is that for an undisciplined person, any environment can be a distraction. The office — with its overly chatty co-workers, cafeteria temptations, and break-room pool tables — can be just as productive as your own home. But the optics are worse for homeworkers because they are often invisible to perspicacious, skeptical management. Who says you haven’t been lured away from that home organization project you’ve been putting off? Or that a load of laundry you threw between calls didn’t turn into ten? (You and I both know this is ridiculous, but it’s a fear that still exists.)

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The most accomplished employees maximize their chances of working from home by essentially aligning their work rhythms with the rhythms of their workplace. By making sure you overlap where it matters and being as productive as possible during that time, you prove you deliver on your promises. And in doing so, you effectively defeat a powerful management objection to working from home.

Be relaxed about balance

The most successful performers I see are almost pathologically inflexible, and that quality makes them so ideal for remote work. They don’t consider themselves 100% at work or 100% at home. Instead, it’s a seesaw — a mix they’re not particularly picky about. They accept that the same flexibility that allows them to cook a quick meal in the middle of the day also means they might take a 6pm phone call while the food is cooking.

These employees take a relaxed and sensible approach – going with the ebb and flow of work and life in a way that allows them to effectively care for both. They know it’s about using their time wisely – and it shows. Your managers and colleagues feel seen, heard and cared for – and employees still feel able to meet their personal commitments and work demands.

Communicate more, not less

The downside of working remotely when almost everyone else is in the office is luck (or lack thereof). You don’t have those random moments in the same clip; it just doesn’t happen. We’ve all had those experiences where we get sucked into an impromptu brainstorming session, get invited over to lunch with a fat cat, or a boss walks in and casually says, “Hey, why don’t you join me for the chat with Major Account X?” ”

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These opportunities are harder to win when you’re a remote worker — they come with purposeful effort. Smart remote workers value communication and connection for exactly this reason. You are helpful and caring towards colleagues and managers. They create opportunities for conversation. They are not afraid of being invited to important meetings. You volunteer. And yes, they go to the office when warranted. Your superiors know your goals and can work towards them. And that’s why they’re still at the top of the list.

As the balance of power appears to be shifting back to employers, it’s easy to assume alternative ways of working are off the table. But the secret is to remember that’s never true. Nothing is off the table if you are a great performer who knows how to highlight your skills, value and productivity through the way you work and communicate. And for those of you making decisions about working arrangements, remember this is a simple and effective way to reward high performers and avoid attrition costs.

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