A blog explaining how workers can communicate the benefits of remote working to their bosses
Ready to work remotely? You’re not alone – some 53 million Americans already do. But the fewer people doing it in your company, the harder it can be to approach your boss about it. Here’s the key: rather than talk about how much you enjoy working from your kitchen table, demonstrate to your managers what it’ll do for them. (Take a cue from marketing: to sell the feature, show the benefit.)
Why? Because remote workers are productive workers. 25% more productive, according to some surveys. And that adds up to greater efficiencies, lower costs, and higher profit margins on your line manager’s P&L. And when you look deeper, it becomes clear where those productivities come from. The hassles of a commute, the distractions of open offices, the limits of one-size-fits-all IT options – these are costs imposed by being office-based.
Remote workers don’t have to compensate for being away from the office; they deliver benefits from it.
So if the job description allows, it makes great financial sense to put remote and flexible working at the core of your business processes. But don’t take our word for it – here are some justifications any boss will welcome, from a book he’s probably read already.
- “By working only when you are most effective, life is both more productive and more enjoyable.” ― Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek
This one’s a corker. Don’t tell your boss you’ll avoid the commute (although you will); talk about how working from home lets you be effective 100% of the time. Whether you’re most productive from being up with the lark or not starting until six in the evening, flexible working lets you give more output per hour to the person who hired you.
Of course, don’t forget the wider communications options. Don’t constantly check email; why not schedule a five-minute daily video chat at a time convenient to you both, to keep empathy and connectedness going while you’re away from the office?
- “It’s amazing how someone’s IQ seems to double as soon as you give them responsibility and indicate that you trust them.” ― Timothy Ferriss, The 4 Hour Workweek, Expanded And Updated
Remote working is about freedom – but freedom has a profit motive, too. People who work from home tend to be extra-diligent about getting their work done – and often come up with creative ways of doing it!
When broaching flexible working to your boss, emphasize how it enables innovation that isn’t always possible in a cube farm. And with collaboration options like whiteboarding letting you share documents as easily as being there, there’s no downside. Innovation drives productivity.
- “What is the 20% of my belongings that I use 80% of the time? Eliminate the other 80% in clothing, magazines, books, and all else. Be ruthless – you can always repurchase things you can’t live without.” ― Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek
Tim’s minimalist approach applies to the costs of employment, too. It takes serious money to keep a worker equipped – not just with a desktop, but with the people and services who keep it going. Flexible workers, by contrast, tend to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Saving the company money, and keeping the remote worker maximally productive, because she’s using the gear she knows inside-out.
Communication and collaboration software like Arkadin’s offer unified communications across multiple platforms and applications. When all your worker needs is a web connection, what’s not to like?
- “Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.” ― Timothy Ferriss, The 4 Hour Workweek, Expanded And Updated
Finally, press on with the biggest benefit for many remote workers: cutting out the busywork. Co-worker distractions, unnecessary meetings, being pulled around from one task to another – all mean a loss of focus.
Concentrating on a few core tasks leads to more and better output – Ferris believes the employer’s investment is worth 3-10 times as much. And with the right unified communications software keeping you connected, your employer won’t lose any of his cherished access to you.
See the connections between these four? Communication is key. We’re not talking simple catch-up calls; high-bandwidth videoconferencing and whiteboarding sessions that let you share documents in real-time. Bring the office to you…even when you’re out of it. With scheduled feedback sessions and agreed KPIs, there’s no reason you can’t be far more effective away from your desk… even if you have to start small. Try an afternoon a week at first and show your boss the benefits.
And if you like the sound of Tim’s pronouncements – buy his book! There’s a script in it for approaching your boss about remote and flexible working. When you’re ready, call Arkadin.
Ready to boost your office’s productivity from your home? Download “The Connected Business: Generating a Collaborative Culture, How to Build Innovation in Your Enterprise” and get started.
- Remote workers are 3-10x as productive
- Up to 80% of a worker’s effort is busywork
- The BYOD revolution is enabling remote working
- To cheerlead flexible working, show your boss how he profits from it
- Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Work Week has some great tips for remote workers