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Alec
Alec

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How to negotiate working remotely

I've been able to live and work remotely in Panama, Prague and Budapest, Hungary. Plus I've worked while visiting Norway, Greece, Italy and basically all around Europe.

Let me show you how you can also.

In any negotiation it's important to understand the other person's motivation. The main reasons employers worry about employees working virtual office are loss of productivity, inability to communicate quickly and collaboration capability.

In this video I give 8 negotiation strategies plus lots of key supporting statistics.

Supporting Statistics

Here are the best of the supporting statistics and after this I will discuss what your first 3 months of working virtual office should be like.

A study by Stanford of 16,000 workers over 9 months found that working from home increase productivity by 13%. This increase in performance was due to more calls per minute attributed to a quieter more convenient working environment and working  more minutes per shift because of fewer breaks and sick days.

In this same study workers also reported improved work satisfaction, and attrition rates were cut by 50%.

On average, those who work from home spend 10 minutes less a day being unproductive, work one more day a week, and are 47% more productive.

77% of those who work remotely at least a few times per month show increased productivity, with 30% doing more work in less time and 24% doing more work in the same period of time according to by ConnectSolutions.

This is further supported by a survey of remote employees by CoSo Cloud. 23% of them said that they are willing to work for longer hours to get more done. 52% said that they are less likely to take time off and 30% reported accomplishing more in less time. Overall, 77% confirmed improved productivity while working from home.

A Harvard study discovered when pre-existing call center workers went remote, their productivity rose by 7%. However when new people are hired for the same remote positions, their productivity is much lower.  This is why employers often fear that people wanting to "working remotely" will be less productive.  There is some validity to this.

Harvard has complex formulas for working remotely but they don't really apply to programmers.  It's interesting though.

Based on a report from September 16, 2020, ninety-four percent of 800 employers surveyed by Mercer, an HR and workplace benefits consulting firm, said that productivity was the same as or higher than it was before the pandemic, even with their employees working remotely.

"For a long time, companies with strong remote-work programs have reported excellent productivity, and our own surveys year after year find that people who work remotely say they're more productive or as productive at home," said Brie Weiler Reynolds, career development manager and coach at FlexJobs.

Employer Outlook

Looking ahead, 83 percent of respondents said that even after the health crisis has passed, they plan to put more flexible work policies in place, such as allowing more people to work from home or letting them adjust their schedules.

A growing set of companies, including Amazon, Capital One, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce and Siemens, have extended their remote-work plans (at least part time) into 2021, or even permanently. On July 29, online real estate marketplace Zillow joined that list.

These statistics and the supporting survey information are available in the links below.

Starting Virtual Office Life

Once you have successfully negotiated working virtual office, take the time to make your company or clients feel comfortable with it.  For the first month, put in your hours from your home office.  You do not want the first impression from your boss or manager to be they tried to reach you and you were in a noisy coffee shop with bad internet access.

The second month once or twice a week spend half the day working outside of your home office.  Take your significant other to a museum or library.  Work a while there, then wander around with them, then work some more.  Try this at a park also but choose locations that are not too far from your home office so if there is an emergency and the phone tethering is insufficient you can quickly go home.  Find a local restaurant with unlimited drink refills which doesn't mind you sitting there for hours.  Take your laptop and have a long lunch.  Eat and enjoy the company of your friend/kids/spouse - then code - then eat some more.

The third month take it to the next level.  Book a trip somewhere fun or exotic that has high speed internet.  Plan on leaving on a Friday night and not returning until Sunday 9 days later.  This way you get two weekends purely for fun.  Friday night or Saturday morning you verify the internet access and that you can access all your work without problems.  Use VPN if necessary.   On the week days you work from the AirBnB or hotel during work hours.  In the evening and night you explore and have a good time.  This is a fantastic way to give your family a wonderful experience while you still maintain your work commitments.

After you have been doing this for a year, it is much easier to convince your client or employer that you can be just as productive even if you moved to another country.

Summary

How exactly you take advantage of working remotely really depends on what your technology role is.  Set up your home office as your base but then slowly test your limits.  As long as you continue to be productive and fulfill the needs of your clients, the world is your workplace.

Links to Supporting Statistics

Surprising Working from Home Productivity Statistics (2021)
https://www.apollotechnical.com/working-from-home-productivity-statistics/

Remote Work Productivity Study Finds Surprising Reality: 2-Year Analysis
https://www.greatplacetowork.com/resources/blog/remote-work-productivity-study-finds-surprising-reality-2-year-study

Stanford: How working from home works out
https://siepr.stanford.edu/research/publications/how-working-home-works-out

Study Finds Productivity Not Deterred by Shift to Remote Work
https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-news/Pages/Study-Productivity-Shift-Remote-Work-COVID-Coronavirus.aspx
September 16, 2020

SHRM Study: Teleworkers More Productive—Even When Sick
https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/technology/pages/teleworkers-more-productive-even-when-sick.aspx

Standford Study: Does working from home work?
https://nbloom.people.stanford.edu/sites/g/files/sbiybj4746/f/wfh.pdf

9 Research-Based Facts That Prove Remote Teams are The Future of Work
(great reference to help employers realize working remote is the smart decision)
https://www.timedoctor.com/blog/remote-teams-future-of-work/

CoSo Cloud Survey Shows Working Remotely Benefits Employers and Employees
https://www.cosocloud.com/press-releases/coso-survey-shows-working-remotely-benefits-employers-and-employees

Harvard Study on Working Remotely (not really applicable, but math is interesting)
https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/eharrington/files/remote_work.pdf

NordVPN for when you visit foreign countries but need your office servers to think you are in original country
https://wtk.pw/NordVPN

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