Right now, businesses are facing new and unique questions with few easy answers.
How does a company stay productive in the face of such uncertainty?
The accelerated adoption of remote work is one solution many businesses see as both cost-effective and sensible.
If you do not currently work from home but would prefer to make that transition, how do you broach the subject with your employer?
There are many ways to make your case. Starting by stating your personal preference is okay, but be sure any pitch you make builds on that preference by demonstrating the value your choice creates for the business.
From improved productivity to lower overhead, there are many WFH advantages to explore. Here are some of the approaches you can take to build a persuasive case.
Major Corporations Already See the Value of WFH
Some employers worry about the logistics of managing an individual remote worker, not to mention doing so at scale. In the face of such concerns, it might be a good idea to point to the significant technology corporations already moving swiftly to embrace a WFH culture change.
Twitter, with more than 4,600 employees, announced that eligible workers could make their transition permanent.
The same policy went into place for Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s other business, payment processor Square.
Shopify boldly declared the end of the era of “office centricity,” shuttering its physical spaces until 2021 and pledging a definite shift to remote work.
With estimates more than half of the US workforce might leave the office behind, keeping a business on the cutting edge might require adapting to this new normal sooner rather than later—and that’s a fact worth pointing out as you make your WFH pitch.
Staying in the Loop Is Easier Than Ever
How can your manager be sure you’re staying on task and tracking to meet your milestones if they can’t drop by your desk every so often?
Making a case for remote work based on communication is tough—managing remote workers does require a different approach and style. However, the right modern technology might make those employee-manager check-ins more effective over distance.
The explosion of Zoom, which catapulted to hundreds of millions of daily engagements in the span of just a few months, has made video conferencing common. A wide variety of messaging and collaboration platforms provide ample opportunities for quick chats and check-ins.
Businesses continue to embrace Slack, with nearly 10,000 companies adopting the platform for employee communications in Q1 2020.
Other solutions, such as Basecamp and Trello, put powerful tools for project planning and oversight in the hands of managers. Producing reports of your progress as an employee is also much simpler. You can make the case that these tools make regular updates easier, faster, and less time-consuming than face-to-face meetings.
Self-Equipping for Upgraded Capabilities
Companies always want to reduce costs or keep them low, and concerns about the financial impact of WFH practices are common.
In response, point out that employees may take advantage of tax benefits for home office setups, so they typically shoulder most of the setup costs on their own initially.
You probably already have access to essential hardware: a 2018 survey by the Global Web Index noted approximately 75% of households own a home PC or laptop.
It’s worth pointing out to managers that equipping yourself to work with power and efficiency at home is a priority for you. While an enterprise customer might license Slack for your use working at home, there are many other ways to upgrade the software you use at home to demonstrate how your productivity will improve.
For example, you may simplify and speed up document workflows in software with an intuitive upgrade such as Kofax Power PDF.
Emailing a PDF to your manager after scanning and sharing critical paperwork from home is much faster and more reliable than legacy solutions such as faxing.
Combined with the right communications apps, privacy protections, robust cloud backups for reliability, and other home business software options, it is easy to demonstrate to management that you can create a functional and secure workspace online and at home.
Building Your Case for Working from Home
While the current wave of remote work may be a consequence of the pandemic, widespread efforts to promote WFH practices were already underway before social distancing became a concern.
Today, based on a Gallup poll of pandemic-produced remote workers, 59% have limited interest in returning to in-office work at all.
With wide-reaching benefits, the availability of convenient tools to simplify remote work, and plenty of reasons to make the switch sooner rather than later, there are many ways to pitch a WFH transition. Build a case that offers a better way forward for your company—and advantages for your future.
By Ben Liu, eCommerce Director at Kofax
Ben is an experienced eCommerce director in Irvine, California with more than 15 years building brands and refining the development of revenue streams. After generating more than $100 million of incremental revenue improvements in previous positions for heavy hitters across the tech industry, Ben joined the Kofax team. Now a driving force behind innovative marketing efforts and the growing popularity of Kofax Power PDF with SMBs, he continues to improve outreach via innovative chatbots, data-driven marketing analysis, and a dedication to consumer-first content. By bringing an engineer’s eye for detail to Kofax along with a passion for helping brands reach their potential, Ben is charting a course for continued success.