Legitimize your remote work. A five step plan.

“I don’t quit no! I just press harder (Yea!) than I ever did before going for The dreams that I have in store in my mind (mind) and I know That I’m makin it I gotta get mine and nobody’s takin it away (No!)The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – MC Hammer

graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Too legit to quit, Yeah! You deserve the freedom and flexibility to work remotely. 

Now you have that first taste of freedom, a couple hours here, a half day there, a
full day sprinkled in.  Time to step up your game.  After stealing little bites
of remote work time here and there, how do you move in for the kill so to speak
and legitimize a starting remote work schedule?

Start slowly and target one day per week.

First, let’s define legitimate.  Legitimate can be implicit (unofficial approval by a supervisor or authority) or explicit (official per company policy and procedures).
Legitimate varies greatly from organization to organization. Large organizations likely have explicit policy and procedures, while smaller organizations tend toward implicit.  And of course, some may have neither, but we can discuss that in a different article.

So what? What does this mean for me?

The major difference is how you approach the end goal.  The implicit approach is usually more flexible, your negotiating skills prove critical.  The explicit approach is more rigid, but less risky, usually a matter of following formal procedure. Here is the step by step for Implicit versus Explicit.

Implicit Approval:

  1. Approach your supervisor or other appropriate authority informally, i.e. at the end of an unrelated meeting, during an unplanned visit, over lunch or coffee, and so on.  Make sure no other employees are present, as this will add additional pressure of you approver.
  2. Provide the evidence of the win-win.  Use examples of past remote
    work time. Emphasize improved productivity, output, quality, etc.
  3. Make it low risk.  Keep it unofficial to start, offer a trial period, perhaps one day per week for a month, then agree to re-evaluate.
  4. Deliver results.  The remote work days need to be the most
    productive time possible.
  5. Make it official; get formal approval for one day per week.

Explicit Approval:

  1. Be prepared. Review the policy, procedure, rules, etc that define remote work arrangements in your organization.  Knowledge
    is key; you don’t want to walk in like a bumpkin, ignorant of the stated policy.
  2. Get buy-in from your Supervisor, this may not be an explicit requirement, but always a good idea.
  3. Follow the steps outlined after familiarizing yourself. This sounds easy, but for some reason many people find it hard to do.
  4. Make it official and get it in writing.
  5. Provide the evidence of the win-win.  Use examples of past remote work time. Emphasize improved productivity, output, quality, etc.

Don’t blow it now.

Ok, now you have approval to work a day per week from home, don’t screw it up.  Seriously, you need to throw everything you have into that day, because soon we are going to discuss strategies to expand beyond one day per week.

I welcome your feedback and would love to hear you comments and personal experience with this topic.  Find this helpful? Please subscribe to RemoteWorker Daily and forward this post to three friends. You can follow me on Twitter @dailyremotework

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