Struggling to balance your work and home life? Whether it’s childcare, the two-hour commute or your out-of-control schedule, the typical 9-to-5 can feel difficult. Working from home affords you the opportunity to maintain your current workload, whilst overcoming changes in personal circumstances.
While all employees with at least 26 weeks service have the legal right to request flexible working, many managers may have concerns about how your new work environment could affect your productivity.
Therefore, when you present your case, be sure to demonstrate flexibility and commitment to the business. Provide convincing reasons why being based at home will actually benefit the business – rather than just being a personal preference for yourself. And address the obvious concerns your manager will have.
For instance, while they’re stuck behind their office desk or pacing the factory floor, they may imagine you lounging about in your pyjamas with half an eye on the TV. To put their mind at ease, offer to make a daily call first thing in the morning to show that you’re alert and on the case. And doing it via Skype will also show that you’re dressed and have a created a well organised work space.
Also, if your company doesn’t do this already, offer to track your hours or produce a report each week on the tasks you’ve completed.
Communicating with your team members is another challenge. Offer to host daily or weekly Skype calls with them to provide reassurance that you’re not just taking it easy while they’re working away. And perhaps suggest the use of instant messaging to allow smaller, more immediate queries to be solved quickly. It’s also important to be flexible. There are some team or client meetings that must be done face-to-face, so make sure that you can attend them, either in person or via Skype.
And do you have all the home technology you will need? For instance, (if this is the sort of thing your work requires) will your bandwidth be able to handle a Skype call, multiple emails and a webinar attendance?
And remember, if you choose to work from home, the onus will be on you to work harder to keep in touch with everyone. If your colleagues rarely hear from you, you may be quickly forgotten and overlooked. So keep in touch, tell people what you’re achieving and keep up to date with everything that is happening in the workplace.
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