Have you ever come to the end of holidays and thought “I just need one more week”?
I just returned from a week in NZ and this thought crossed my mind, not because I dreaded returning to work but because a week wasn’t long enough to do what we wanted to do.
Upon reflection I could feel nothing but gratitude for the life that I have built. A life where staying another week or even another month would be totally doable with just a few phone calls, but a lot of people don’t have this luxury.
They're stuck in the 9-5 where time off needs to be approved, where you feel guilty for taking a sickie (even when it’s legitimate), where you need to negotiate with your boss for an early leave pass to enjoy your child’s birthday.
Our workplace is evolving and employers are starting to see the benefits of transitioning to remote work but if you are feeling like you're stuck on the hamster wheel, you need to lead the change yourself.
Here are a couple of tips on transitioning to a remote working arrangement:
Get clear on what you want – an ideal week may only mean working 2 days at home but for others it may be 5 days. Make sure you know your end game otherwise your plan of attack will be very difficult to design.
Review your current work – are you able to just as effectively complete your work remotely? What will you need to achieve this?
Set expectations – think about your availability. How many hours will you work? When will you work? Or will it be more project based? How will this be reported?
Trade places with your boss – when designing your proposal consider what concerns your boss may have. These could range from keeping you accountable, setting targets and review points to what this will logistically mean and how their costs may change. Make sure these are all addressed in your plan before discussing this with them.
Have an open conversation – make time to talk your plan through with your boss. Explain why this is important to you and show them how you have put a lot of thought into it.
This arrangement needs to be mutually beneficial so be prepared to compromise. Over time, you may find that your feelings may change so try to keep as flexible in your approach as possible.
For me, well I ended up coming home after only a week in NZ. Being pregnant, it was the simple luxuries like my own bed that I couldn’t bear to be without for another night.
But bed permitting, I hope you too find a way for your job to work for you because there is nothing better than jumping off that hamster wheel and straight into the deep end of life.