How To Work From Anywhere In The World Without Quitting Your Job
Maybe you’ve ogled over newsfeed photos of your entrepreneurial friends working from their laptops overlooking the sea cliffs of Greece, the rice fields of Bali, or the mountains of Peru.
For many millennials, working remotely is the ultimate career aspiration. The problem is, it’s often just that—an aspiration. We dream of this lifestyle but think it is out of reach for us unless we were to quit our jobs.
In reality, location-independence is becoming increasingly accessible for the everyday worker. Over half of Americans are currently working part-time remotely, and that number is rising steadily. As business infrastructure yields to digital technology, more and more companies are willing to let employees work from outside the office.
One founder says you could just be a conversation away from making remote work a reality for you.
Meet Greg Caplan, the founder of Remote Year, a one-year program offering 75 millennials the experience of working in 12 global cities for a month each. Since its launch in 2015, Remote Year has received over 300,000 applications and $12 million in funding. Caplan says the majority of participants are actually completing the program within traditional jobs.
This week on Unconventional Life, Caplan shares how you can successfully pitch your employer on the remote working arrangement of your dreams.
Caplan’s taste for international travel developed at a young age, when, growing up, his parents opened up their home to foreigners from around the world. Caplan recalls living with children from Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and the Congo, usually for years at a time.
What stuck with Caplan was a sense of community that transcended geographic borders. With Remote Year, Caplan sought to recreate this experience for a modern generation disconnected from community.
“Community is not always readily available,” Caplan says. “Sometimes it’s something you have to go out and create on your own.”
On the first day of Remote Year’s launch, Caplan was flooded with over a thousand applications. “I shared it with a couple friends over Google Chat and it started to go nuts. Over the next couple months over fifty thousand people signed up. There wasn’t even much information but we really struck a chord—people desired this experience,” he says.
A common theme amongst applicants was a desire to create workability for remote living within their current careers. People wanted to know how they could enroll their employers in a remote working agreement that allowed for travel and an open schedule.
In response, Caplan developed a strategy that began producing consistent results. Before long, Remote Year’s body consisted of more individuals in standard jobs than not.
“Remote work can be done—all that needs to happen is the way bosses and leaders think about remote work,” says Caplan.
Do you desire a remote lifestyle within your current career? Below, Caplan shares his proven strategy to pitch a remote work arrangement your employer can’t refuse.
1. Be professional. Create a formal proposal for your case. You’ll want to include a detailed plan for communication, possible issues and setbacks, and how you’ll work to mitigate them. “If you’re really structured and formal about all of the different points that you’re addressing and you present it in a professional way you’re much more likely to get by your boss or business leader,” Caplan says.
2. Identify the added value. Studies show remote workers are more productive, more collaborative, and take less sick days than their office counterparts. In addition, travel has been shown to improve creativity and innovation. With research in your favor, you can create an effective case for why you’ll become more valuable to your organization as a remote employee.
3. Meet the goals and objectives of your organization. Think holistically about how your proposal will serve your organization at all levels and across all departments. Understand what your organization’s primary objectives are and orient your case in the highest service to those needs. The more consideration you put into the entire structure of your organization, the easier it will be for your boss, and their supervisors, to say yes.