When the pandemic resulted in shelter-in-place orders, many professionals suddenly found themselves working from home full-time. For many, this new paradigm has continued on, crossing over into the new year.
However, now that vaccine rollouts have begun, many companies want their teams to start returning to the office. For some professionals, this is a welcome shift. But for others, safety concerns make them hesitant, if not outright resistant.
Luckily, even if your team is returning to the office, that doesn’t mean you may not have options. If you are wondering how you can talk to your boss about staying remote, here’s what you need to know.
Plan Your Talking Points
Before you approach your boss about continuing to work from home, you need to outline your key talking points. Simply saying that you’re concerned about safety isn’t necessarily enough. Generally, it’s best to have specific reasons that you can present, giving your position more depth.
For example, if you are immunocompromised or live with an immunocompromised person, that might be worth sharing. If schools are not open in your area, and you have children that need supervision, that may be another point you can present.
However, you don’t want to stop at your concerns. Make sure you’re ready to share details about how you’ve excelled while working remotely. Review your recent accomplishments so that you can highlight that you’re capable of exceeding expectations while telecommuting.
Additionally, outline a plan for remaining engaged with your team even if they are in the office and you aren’t. Prepare to discuss how you’ll use various tools to keep communication channels open, handle teamwork-based tasks, and similar activities. That way, you can demonstrate that you’ve found a path that supports full productivity even if you aren’t back in the office.
Schedule a Meeting
Once you have your talking points outlined, schedule a meeting with your boss. This isn’t a conversation that you should simply hop into; it’s better to make sure that you and your manager can dedicate enough time and attention to the matter to fully discuss the topic.
When the meeting begins, remain fact-based. An emotional plea may not resonate as strongly as proof that you can excel when working remotely or information regarding why returning to the office is particularly risky for you.
If your manager has reservations, listen to them before you respond. In some cases, you might already have a plan for addressing those concerns. Alternatively, you might be able to propose a trial run, giving your boss the chance to see how everything would unfold before committing to something long-term.
Additionally, ask about any safety measures the company is planning to implement. It’s possible that the new procedures that will be in place address your concerns, allowing you to feel more secure about returning to the office if it is ultimately necessary.
Navigating the Decision
In the end, your boss likely has the final say. If they believe your request is justified and that you’ll remain fully productive when working from home, they may agree to let you continue to be a remote employee.
However, even if your points are solid, they may not side with you. If that’s the case, you have to determine whether your concerns are enough to make quitting the right move. Quitting may make you ineligible for unemployment, so you do need to keep that in mind. But if you can find a new position quickly, you may be able to transition into a different job that allows you to remain remote.
Are You Looking New Job That Lets You Work Remotely?
If you’re concerned about returning to the office and would rather remain in a remote position, you do have options. By partnering with Selectek, our team can help you find a new job that will allow you to telecommute, at least until the pandemic calms. Contact us or explore our current openings today to learn more about what’s available.