Though there's something to be said for the camaraderie of office life, many employees would still much rather do their jobs from home. And new data from LinkedIn highlights the lengths they're willing to go to in order to snag such an arrangement.
A good 82% of working professionals would like to do their jobs remotely one day a week or more, with 57% wanting to work from home three days or more. And many are willing to give up some downtime in exchange. For the option to work from home at least twice a week, 34% of employees would be open to working the occasional weekend, while 32% would put in longer hours the days they're in the office.
Parents are especially eager to do their jobs from home. In fact, 34% of employees with children under the age of 3 say they'd give up their current job and make a lateral move for the option to work remotely at least twice a week.
But while the work-from-home trend is gaining traction, not all companies are on board with it. In fact, only 42% of employees say they're allowed to work from home at least some of the time. And 45% of hiring managers have had a candidate turn down a job offer because the company wouldn't accommodate a work-from-home setup.
Still, it pays to fight for a work-from-home arrangement if having one would make your life notably easier. Here's how to build a solid case.
1. Start off with one day a week
If your company is used to having you around in the office every day, going from that setup to a full-time at-home arrangement may not fly. So don't push your luck. Instead, ask to start out working from home once a week and see how that goes. If there's no negative impact to your team, you can then ask for an additional work-from-home day, and repeat.
2. Highlight what your employer has to gain
Clearly, you, as an employee, have a lot to gain by working from home, like saving time and money by not having to commute as much. But remember, if you're trying to make the case to work from home, the upside can't be all about you. Rather, you'll need to talk up the ways your company can benefit as well. For example, if you typically spend two hours a day behind the wheel to get to the office, that's time you're not available to check email or pitch in on reports, so if you make it clear that working from home will make you more available, your employer may agree to it.
3. Give your company an out
Your employer might hesitate to let you do your job from home for fear of backlash on your part if things don't work out. That's why, like it or not, you'll need to state in your pitch that if your work-from-home arrangement somehow ends up hurting your team or company, you're willing to revert to your former in-office setup. Ideally, that won't happen, but if you make it clear that you're flexible, there's a solid chance you'll get your way.
Working from home is a privilege many employees enjoy, and one many crave. If your company has yet to adopt a work-from-home policy, don't hesitate to speak up and ask for one. You may need to make some concessions to snag that arrangement, but the potential savings and flexibility will likely be more than worth it.
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Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Maurie Backman owns shares of Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Microsoft. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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