Source | FastCompany : By STEPHANIE VOZZA
If you think working from home on Fridays sounds good, you’re not alone. “Flexible work hours” is the most desired benefit among workers, with more than half of adult U.S. workers picking it as their top perk, according to the technology staffing firm Modis.
While 80% of companies offer flexible hours, just 44% advertise this to employees, according to a study by WorldatWork, the nonprofit human resources association. That means working from home on Fridays might be as simple as asking.
“When a company values an employee, managers are usually willing to have a conversation about working from home, and often are willing to work out some type of an agreement when feasible,” says MaryAnne Hyland, professor of human resource management at the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business at Adelphi University.
The real issue is about trust, says Anna Conrad, founder of Impact Leadership Solutions, a Denver-based leadership development and consulting firm. “You are asking your manager to trust not only your willingness to stay focused and work, but your ability to work autonomously with little or no guidance,” she says.
Before you ask, Conrad suggests knowing how you will use your time and how you will provide evidence of the work you accomplished. “This is especially critical during the first month when trust is being established,” she says. “Assure your manager you will be readily available when needed, just as if he wanted to stop by your cubicle.”
You also have to prove that you can work autonomously. Consider your last performance review, suggests Conrad. “Was any of the feedback related to your inability to get things done with little or no guidance? Was any of it related to your inability to meet deadlines?” she asks. “If your answer to either of these is ‘yes,’ explain to your manager things you have done to prove this is no longer an issue.”
You also need to make sure you have the required information technology tools and skills, says Wilma Jones, author of Is It Monday Already?! “High-speed internet and excellent telephone service are required at your home office,” she says. “Working from Starbucks every Friday is not a sufficient arrangement. And make sure you have an Ethernet cable so you can hardwire into your router if your computer has a Wi-Fi issue,” she cautions. “It happens. Be prepared.”