With the increased spread of computer use and internet use, along with high speed of the internet, more and more employees want to work from time, on a flexible schedule. If we look at the numbers gathered by a Cisco study, 70% of the college students find office work depleted and would want to work from home instead. And they are not the only ones to think this way!
As switching from office work to remote work is the first step towards a life of digital nomading, you need to convince your company that you are fit for this working model.
No more office work in the future
IT changes the future of work – there is no denial of this fact. IT companies are developing new programs and teach HR managers how to find the best workers online, the number of wearable devices which can be used for work is raising and the very nature of work is being subject to changes due to globalisation and technologies. Reports show that more than 34 million people already work from home from time to time, while 83% of all employees work remotely at least part of the day. After all, answering mails on the commute and at home is still work!
In such times, when future employees believe they don’t have to show up to the office building to stay in front of a computer for 8-9 hours, then commute for another 1-2 hours, what are the companies saying?
Well, they are adapting to the new trends as well: reports such as the one published by Telework Research Network state that telecommuting grew by 61% between 2005 and 2009, 45% of the US workforce having jobs which are compatible with remote working. This means millions of employees could work from home, either full time, either part time.
The environmentally friendly employee
The same Telework Research Network report brings up another matter: remote working is environmentally friendly! Let’s check just how friendly:
- the 2.9 million telecommuters in US save 390 million gallons of gas, preventing the release of almost 4 million tons of toxic gases in the atmosphere, yearly
- if those who own telecommuter-compatible jobs would work from home 2 days per week, they would reduce the greenhouse gas release with 51 million tons, increasing the national savings enough to reduce the oil imports by 46%, saving enough energy to exceed the output of all the renewable energy sources.
Despite all these benefits which could make our world better and healthier, many employers remain reluctant, thinking workers use telecommuting to skip work. In some cases, this is true, but when the average remote worker earns $65,000 yearly, most digital nomads are happy to work from the comfort of their own home.
How to avoid being fired when you ask for a switch to a remote job
The new worker is now able to use the technologies to stay connected to his boss, colleagues and other people in the company. There are social media, video conferences, phone conferences and many more methods to keep in touch. Even so, even if the trend is growing and it’s more than a simple trend which will fade out in couple of months, managers are not happy with this schedule. Their main fear is the employees will not be as productive as office workers. The lack of face-time is another concern, as remote workers don’t get to bond with their colleagues or managers, which strips the relationships between them and the company people from the social component.
But, if you are serious about working remotely, you need to make the first step and convince your boss you are eligible for this model. Without being sacked in the process, that is!
Here are the most important steps you need to take before, during and after asking for a full or part-time remote job switch.
Stay on top of your things
If you want to convince anyone you are able to work from home you need to be dedicated and very productive on your office job. Prove that you can handle all the meetings, deadlines and projects, showing everyone that you are reliable and highly productive. Be organized, follow the rules and focus on every detail, proving an outstanding professionalism. Getting projects done at time, in a successful manner is a sure way to be included in the top-workers in the company, which is also important. When you intend to ask the upper management that you are worthy to work remotely you need to make sure you are one of the best workers, one of those hard to find, otherwise, you may have the nasty surprise of being disposed of rather easily.
Get as much face-time as you can
Face-time is great for being thought of when a new opportunity rises in the company; office workers can show up in front of the boss couple of times per week or have a speech during meetings, which is not possible for a remote worker. However, you can use technologies to speak to your top management and participate in meetings. Speak up each time you have the opportunity and make an effort to stay connected to your colleagues as well as the management.
Push yourself to network, as this also counts as face-time. Participate in team-building programs, conferences and other type of events each time you can, even if you’ve relocated. Showing your face in the industry you work in matters a lot for you, as an individual and for the company you work for. You want to be seen and associated with the company by potential collaborators and representatives of rival companies.
Be serious when you work from home
The only way to make this model work for you is actually working. True digital nomads work from cafes and other places where they can find a good internet connection; you can start with cafes, your living room or any other place which allows you to stay away from distractions and really work. Keeping up your productivity is crucial, so experiment with multiple spaces to find the best one.
During the work hours respond to all emails as fast as possible and use specific collaboration tools. This way, your managers and colleagues can see you online, making adjustments to work sheets, sending mails and editing projects. When you answer emails you have to be as concise as possible – this might be the hardest thing to do at first, but persevere, because you need to be able to communicate effectively in the shortest time span, in order to prevent the reassessment of the entire remote working model by your upper management.
All in one, keep up the good job and your productivity and you will become a great remote worker, on his way towards a true digital nomad life.