How Remote Year Can Help You Transition into Remote Work
12. Nov. 2021
The Remote Year experience is filled with potential for personal growth. While traveling the world on a 4-month or 12-month program, you’ll have the opportunity to gain a global perspective and a new understanding of yourself (and the people around you).
The road to Remote Year may not always be the easy one, but Krista Jancik would tell you that forging through tough conversations, presentations, and the many layers of approval required to make the work-and-travel lifestyle a reality is a road worth taking.
Sitting al fresco at a cafe in Belgrade, Krista reflects on her journey from working in an open office space in Chicago to getting down to business from workspaces around the world on Remote Year.
Krista Jancik, 35, is currently the Senior Art Director for Geometry Global, Ogilvy & Mather, working with a team of 30 to serve Fortune 500 clients.
First Attitude. Then Approval
When Krista found out about Remote Year, she was working as an Art Director for one of the world’s largest and most international brand activation and shopper marketing agencies.
Life was good and Krista was en route to being promoted and moving up the corporate food chain. But she was seeking something more. Something to break the routine and challenge her creativity. She crafted a well-rounded business pitch for remote work to her company; knowing that the location independent lifestyle was a foreign concept within the organization.
Build a Thoughtful Business Case
Every approval process is different depending on the systems already in place at a company. In Krista’s case, her agency was aware of remote work, but had no formal policies regarding the flexible working style. Remote-friendly organizations might have several work-from-home days, unconventional hours, or only require employees to be at their desk part time.
It was an uphill battle, one in which she had to pitch the concept of remote work, explain what a work-and-travel program like Remote Year is, and deliver her proposal of the benefits and opportunities that the organization would experience should they let her join a Remote Year program.
True to her expertise, Krista designed a compelling story and kept her audience in mind throughout the entire approval process.
First, Krista gained approval from her direct manager, then the EVP of her New York and Chicago office, followed by HR (in Chicago) and international HR (based in London), and finally received sign off from multiple Executive Presidents across the North America organization - all within weeks.
7 Tips to Convince Your Boss to Let You Work Remotely
Start with the basics
Don’t assume people know about Remote Year. Be sure to give an overview of the program and the reasons you have chosen to pursue the opportunity to join.
Build good rapport
Become an asset to your team and develop a positive relationship with the people around you. They might have to advocate for you at some point along the way.
Same same, but different
Highlight all the things that are not going to change, other than your geographical location, of course. You will still be present for all team meetings via video calls and available via email. If necessary, mention that you are already using these communication platforms to connect with other company offices or with your clients. That fact could help bring your desired remote lifestyle to life for your boss.
Highlight a business need
Showing that your Remote Year experience will impact your work goals - and thus your company’s bottom line - is a huge selling point. Need a place to start?
A 2017 Gallup poll identified the remote work sweet spot, finding the highest rates of engagement among workers who spent 60 to 80% of their time out of the office.
Sixty percent of workers who have flexible work options feel “more productive and engaged.” Only four percent said less so.
More than one-third of U.S. full-time employees now do most of their work from a remote location, 34 percent in 2017. Of those who do work flexibly, 45 percent feel that flexibility increases their ability to “communicate, create, and innovate with colleagues.”
Thousands of people have participated in a Remote Year program, representing nearly every industry, work situation and job title. If they can do it, so can you!
Presentation is everything
Spend some time putting together an aesthetically-pleasing document or presentation that is organized, on brand for your company and clearly lays out your primary talking points. This is your chance to bring the magic and get in front of any foreseeable objections. If you’re going through multiple rounds of feedback, make sure you are taking questions and gauging reactions along the way to iterate on your next presentation.
Lay out logistics
Clearly outline where you will be living and working each month, the time zone you will be in and the hours you will be working.
Lean on the Remote Year Team!
Our Program Placement Consultants and Employer Solutions Team are trained to help you build a business case, share relevant resources, provide feedback on your presentations and are even prepared to talk to your manager on your behalf.
The Test of Time
Eight months in, Krista has never once faltered in her conviction that joining Remote Year was the right choice for her and her company - and she makes an intentional effort to share her experiences with her home office in Chicago.
If there is an office in any Remote Year city, Krista connects directly with the team there. She meets international colleagues, contributes to their projects, and learns about the challenges and opportunities in that region. At the end of each month, Krista shares her experience and work-related findings with the rest of her organization. Further connecting North America offices with International offices and even International offices with International offices.
Above all else, both her professional and personal state have tremendously improved. Today, Krista projects a deep sense of joy and confidence in her work. As a Senior Art Director, her experiences on Remote Year inspired a noticeable change in the creativity and design aesthetics of her work. She was promoted to a new position (in Month Five - Marrakesh), and she is dreaming up the ways she can continue to have a positive impact on her organization.
“Going on Remote Year definitely changed how I look at design - just knowing different people and having interesting conversations has inspired my work. And I’m starting to receive recognition for it. I’m more inspired, more aware and literally more creative in every aspect of my day to day - Remote Year has brought that to life for me.”
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