How to Make Work From Home Status Permanent

As COVID infection rates decline slightly across the country, the prospect of returning to our offices is gradually coming closer to reality. After 11 months of living in a pandemic, you may be uncomfortable living in a confined space next to dozens of colleagues, and you are not alone: ​​a recent survey on the Live Career job listing website found that out of 1,000 respondents surveyed in regards to returning to the office, 29 percent would rather quit their job entirely before retiring into physical space.

As more companies begin charting plans for recruiting employees into offices, there will inevitably be tough conversations between restless employees and the corporate hierarchy. Here’s how you, as an employee, can negotiate with your company to return to the office after the pandemic has completely receded.

Talk to other employees about your approach

It can be difficult to bargain with management about a serious situation on your own, but if you do it with a group of colleagues, it can be beneficial for you, especially if the group is cohesive and determined to return safely (or no return). generally).

Start small by reaching out to work friends who may share similar concerns. Build on the reason from there, perhaps launch an email thread or Slack channel to get to the same page and communicate what you think might be necessary for your concerns to be effectively heard by management. Companies have more reason to serve a united front of employees than a few disparate fears expressed by a handful of people.

Explain what you think about “fairness.”

As with most negotiations, the goal is to find common ground. On the one hand, management has a financial incentive to induce people to use the property it rents or owns; There is also the argument that personal collaboration is a boon for productivity (although this is controversial). But there is an important caveat, because employees need to feel safe in order to do their job sufficiently.

You can ask your company to interview employees about their preferences for returning to the office. Is it more convenient for you if your building implements all kinds of contactless door and elevator controls? Is it wise for you to sit in a socially distanced environment wearing masks? Do you want to explain to your bosses that sitting in a socially distant environment wearing masks is no different from working from home?

First of all, there must be a clear sense that your company is at least trying to do everything fairly. As Leadership Strategist Nate Bennett wrote in a recent Forbes article, there are several things employees should consider when proposing a return to work:

Do the policies and procedures treat employees with dignity and respect?

Do employees have a say in the development of policies and procedures?

Are decisions that are the result of the application of policies and procedures made in a transparent, objective and consistent manner?

Is there a mechanism to allow employees affected by decisions to appeal the decision to ensure that an appropriate decision is made?

However, this is just a basic level. If your bosses have little or no interest in reaching a compromise, you may need to resort to Plan B.

When is it time to look for another job

When your bosses are reluctant to move and demand that you return to the office full-time despite your concerns, it may be time to look elsewhere for work. With the popularity of telecommuting and the normalization of hybrid office systems as we (hopefully) leave the pandemic behind, this makes your company especially unwise if they can’t offer any alternative to the obligatory office visit.

But you have another big bargaining chip if you cite all the well-known companies that have fully supported long-term work from home. An important point to telecommuting – 22 percent of U.S. employees will be working remotely on a full-time basis, according to Upwork’s analysis – so it’s likely that you might be able to seek remote work while battling inappropriate corporate policies. on your current.

Many people prefer the human connection offered by a personal work environment, but if you prefer to work from home for reasons of personal and family convenience, there is no reason you shouldn’t try to make it a permanent reality.

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