Negotiating Remote Work
By Shelley Jensen Decker and Christine Chelstrom, Minnesota Job Partners
Recent surveys show that most Minnesota workers want a hybrid workplace. They only want to return to the office for a few days a week, at most. Yet most senior managers say employees should be back every day.
Navigating this new world of remote work can be challenging. Our blog will help job seekers negotiate a work environment that suits their lifestyle and career. Here’s a list of pros and cons to help you decide if remote work is for you.
Pros: Benefits of Working from Home
· Less commute time, more time with family.
· You can save money on gas and wardrobe.
· More flexibility to take care of appointments and errands.
· Fewer interruptions from meetings and chitchat.
· You can get more done by working when you’re most productive.
· You can live where you want to.
Cons: Challenges of Working from Home
· No separation between work and leisure time.
· Easy to misread cues via electronic communications.
· Less in-person contact with co-workers.
· Less facetime to impress the boss.
· You miss the in-office perks.
· You need to be more self-motivated.
With a tight labor market, many job seekers can negotiate a remote work assignment. We offer these tips.
Know what you want and areas for compromise. Allow time to reflect and understand if working from home is the best option for you. Can you self-manage your workday? Do you need face-to-face interactions with co-workers/customers? How can you separate work from home when the day is done?
Be prepared before, during, and after the interview. Research the company and salary range to know your market value. This gives you leverage when negotiating all aspects of a job offer. Take notes during the interview or when debriefing to identify the pain points that your skills and experience can address on day one.
Show your impact. Demonstrate to the employer that you can and will be successful working remotely or hybrid. Provide examples of how you’ve done this for other employers with virtual success stories and data. Explain the strategies you used to stay committed and productive. If necessary, propose a trial period of six months, after which you and your manager can evaluate the situation.
Choose your timing. Know when and how to bring up remote work during the interview process. Remember, never negotiate until you have an offer in hand because that’s when you have the power.
Use appropriate language. Use language geared to the employer’s needs when negotiating. For instance, “Would you be open to letting me work remotely? I’d like to be in the office twice per week or one week per month, whichever you prefer. I have worked remotely full time in all my past jobs and have been consistently praised for my work quality, speed, and responsiveness. It would be contingent on my performance as a remote worker during the first six months in the role. What are your thoughts?”
Prepare to compromise. There may be a trial period that moves you closer to your goal. Or you may need to be in the office for a while to learn the job and demonstrate your performance.
Get it in writing. Once you have successfully negotiated, make sure you have the offer in writing. A written offer should clarify the remote or hybrid arrangement, as well as salary, benefits, bonus structures, vacation, etc. Although an employer can change their mind, a written offer may hold them to their commitments.
The pandemic has fundamentally changed how we define the role of work in our lives. We hope employers recognize that workers want flexibility and a culture that respects work-life balance.
Be a tough negotiator. Always remember that you are worthy of a great life. Never give up your dreams!
To learn more about negotiating a job offer, sign up for our Get Hired Better workshops at https://www.jobpartners.org/calendar