I’m with you on this, but approaching your boss about continuing to work from home can be a tricky conversation to navigate! Let’s put our heads together and see if we can come up with a way to pitch our idea to the boss!
Many people are probably excited about the prospect of getting back to the office. Maybe they have little ones at home that make it hard to get work done during the quarantine. Maybe being put into the teacher-parent-employee role has been a struggle. Some people just like the office and the camaraderie or the hard distinction between work and home. COVID-19 and quarantine have been extra hard for them.
Then there are people like us. We’ve got our routines down. Our “maximum productivity zones” don’t necessarily match up with a 9-5 schedule. We’ve seen the benefits of integrating work life and family life, being able to take a walk around the block to think through a work assignment, and still be around the house and available to connect with family, too. We’re comfortable working with the team and having meetings via Zoom or the phone. And let’s be real—we are probably working more than eight hours a day and/or definitely getting more than eight hours of work done. Continuing to work from home seems like a Win/Win for everybody!
How To Have This Conversation With Your Boss
- Remember that your boss is the boss. Have a humble demeanor. See my blog post here.
- After seeing working remotely in action, your boss might be more open to you working from home, but there are times the boss might want the team to be in the same room. Acknowledge that and show that you are flexible.
- Emphasize the specific ways that working from home has helped you be more productive, focused and creative, BUT…
- Don’t be afraid to express how this has also benefited your family and your overall health and happiness. (Your boss knows that family problems and things like stress, anxiety and depression affect your work performance.)
- Try suggesting a “trial period” so your boss can gauge how it is working out.
- Understand and be prepared for the possibility that the answer might be, “No.”
How To Prepare For The Transition Back To The Office
- Don’t wait to start mentally preparing and thinking through the practical things that will be affected by this transition. It was a significant shift to working from home and it will be a significant shift back to the office.
- If you were doing a lot of your work late at night or early in the morning, consider shifting your work routine now. Get your mind and body ready for 9 to 5.
- Think through how this transition will affect your family. Have a family meeting to talk through how family schedules and routines will change. Your kids have also adapted to you being home during the day. They will need time and help to adjust.
- Be creative and intentional to find new ways to keep the things going that have helped your family grow stronger and be more connected. 9 to 5 doesn’t have to make your family less connected.
Best of luck to you, fellow worker who prefers to work from home!