SUITS VS. SWEATS: making a case for a home or hybrid workplace.
Updated: Aug 19, 2021
Before Covid hit, most tax professionals worked in an office. Some of you had a Friday from home flexibility, summer flex days, and others managed to get home before the bus dropped off your kids. But when we were all forced to change our work environment and keep our companies afloat, we did. Adjusting to zoom meetings and distractions at home definitely challenged our attention spans. Did your productivity come from a clear physical separation of work and home?
One in three report never wanting to go back to an office environment full time. We've had a blast working with companies that opened the candidate pool when positions are offered remote options. We also hear tax leaders wanting collaboration and oversight to be in-person. PGAA Tax knows that productivity and an ideal workplace environment are deeply connected. Bottomline, where your office is should facilitate bringing your A-game and that might mean WFH, hybrid, satellite offices, or full-time at HQ. Ultimately, we want your career to be sustainable, productive, and a chance to do what you love.
Is working from home or hybrid what you want? Here's the arsenal of evidence to support your position:
2020 Data: Do you have evidence you out performed 2019? Get that on paper. When you were forced to work from home, were you more likely to finish an assignment rather than stop so you could beat the traffic? Did you start your work day earlier because coffee and checking emails was right in your kitchen? Provide evidence that being in a lower stress environment (aka your home office) allowed you to engage in work related activities for longer periods of time.
Introvert or Extrovert: Are you inspired by the office chit-chat? Or do you get worn out by the hubbub of an office? While rarely are we 100% introverted or extroverted, if you can identify that an office work environment depletes your work battery, then mark that down as a clear reason to work from home or have a hybrid set up.
Myers-Briggs Personality types and remote work tips: Make sure you know yourself and how to work remotely in a way that enhances your performance and cooperation. Here's a great article on each personality type and how to help yourself while working remotely: https://www.virtualvocations.com/blog/guest-posts/remote-work-advice-personality-type/
Openness: If you have enjoyed working from home, be honest about the reasons why: struggling with certain co-workers does not count but being more productive and less stressed out does. One study found that openness(which is related to being imaginative and having a love for trying out new things) predicted success in a virtual work environment more than being an introvert. How does working from home increase your openness and creativity? Review 2020 for evidence of increased openness and share that in your WFH/hybrid pitch.
Decision making style: Do you make decisions through writing and thoughtful expression? Or are you a verbal processor? Like to be decisive or mull it over? Make a case that your decision making style is best supported through you preferred work environment. Again think back over the year when your home/hybrid work environment supported a successful decision.
Make an agreement on a trial run. Your boss wants to have a pulse on your productivity and engagement. So give them that in a trial run where Covid isn't calling the shots, but they are. Agree on parameters(hybrid work-week, fully remote, virtual meeting expectations, performance review timelines). Give them the reigns to pull the plug if need be so they too feel empowered and let this trial period be the springboard to your ideal work environment!