Posted by Kara Bosworth on April 05, 2018
For a growing number of employees, working from home is the ultimate goal — and many are now making that dream come true. A Gallup survey published in 2017 revealed 43 percent of employed Americans spend at least a portion of their time working remotely, up four percentage point from 2012.
The Advantages of Working Remotely
There are some clear benefits to this approach — think of all the time you’ll save by ditching your commute — and other advantages that might not be so obvious. Not long ago, a Stanford economics professor and the National Bureau of Economic Research collaborated on a study that found people who work from home are both happier and more efficient. They were 9 percent more engaged than their peers who worked in an office setting, and “reported higher job satisfaction” overall.
Does a remote working arrangement sound like a dream scenario for you? There are a few things you’ll need to do to convince your employer it’s a good idea. Here are three characteristics your boss will be looking for.
Working remotely, particularly from home, requires motivation, and the truth is that it’s not for everyone. Ask yourself these questions. Will you miss the hustle and bustle of an office? Do you have the drive and enthusiasm to work off-site? When you aren’t surrounded by coworkers, immersed in a productive atmosphere, it can be tough to maintain your usual pace. That means you may need to work harder to stay creative and keep your output high.
Many employers still picture remote employees as people who sit at home in the pajamas watching daytime TV. You must dispel such stereotypes. Prove you aren’t just capable of getting the job done but also willing to go the extra mile. Take the initiative to spearhead new projects. Turn in your work faster than your peers. Demonstrate your reliability as a self-starter who’s committed to your job. Persuade your employer that you’ll be just as effective — if not more so — working from home.
Few missteps will end a remote work situation faster than unavailability. Employers are likely to worry that remote workers won’t be available when they’re needed. Video conferences and messaging tools do help facilitate communication. However, working outside of your office means your coworkers can’t stop by to ask a quick question or pull you into a meeting.
To alleviate these concerns, make sure you’re always easy to reach. If you run out to do an errand during business hours, be prepared to address a work issue from wherever. Keep message-based discussions with your peers active, and respond as quickly as you can. Your employer will want the assurance that you’re always just a phone call away.
A remote work lifestyle can come with its share of interference, and that’s understandable. That being said, your supervisor doesn’t want to hear a baby crying or a dog barking in the background of a client conference call. When you work remotely, you must retain a professional demeanor since your employer won’t be able to check in on you in person.
With all of this in mind, consider investing in a shared office and joining the 1.27 million people worldwide who used a coworking space last year. If you must work from home, make sure you have a quiet space to call your own. Regardless of your physical location, show your team you can remain professional and focused even with non-work distractions. Your competence, positive attitude, and dependable behavior can convert even the most traditional of employers into advocates for remote jobs.
In addition to passing along those compelling stats about how satisfied and efficient remote workers can be, demonstrating these traits can help you land the job you’ve been waiting for. Proving you’re devoted and trustworthy enough to take on this challenge is the first step toward making your work-from-home dreams come true.