Remote work is the new reality for millions of people around the world, and with this transition has come both positive and negative side effects. In this article, we’ll review one of the more interesting side effects — lack of face time with your manager — and more specifically, how to ask for a raise while working remote.
As far as benefits go, on the plus side you don’t have to commute into the office. This can save people up to two or three hours in their day, and can help them spend more time with their loved ones at home. The lack of commute also helps decrease stress, as it’s actually been proven that long commutes increase stress and a myriad of other symptoms, including headaches, backaches, and high blood pressure. Commuting from your bedroom to a home office or a desk obviously is much preferable to experiencing those symptoms and health complications.
Another benefit of remote work is an improvement in work-life balance, as employees are able to spend more time with their families and friends as they are in their home, with their loved ones. There’s also much more flexibility in a remote work schedule, as individuals have time for a quick lunchtime workout, virtual doctors appointments, or any other tasks outside of work that need to get done during the day when they’d otherwise be commuting or stuck in the office.
That being said, there are definite downsides to working remotely. One of the main ones is the loss of camaraderie between colleagues and less frequent communication. There’s something special about being in an office, collaborating, and working hand-in-hand with colleagues. When it comes to communicating, around 73% of communication is non-verbal, which means much of it is lost over Slack.
Another downside is decreased career progression opportunities. When you’re working remotely, it can be tricky to glean the same insights and leadership strategies from managers or members of your company’s executive team. This is problematic for a few reasons — the first one being that everyone wants to progress in their career. Year over year, we all want to learn, grow and evolve as individuals and professionals. The second reason is that it’s much more difficult to subtly bring up career progression opportunities, raises and promotions.
That being said, it is absolutely possible to ask for a raise while working remotely. It’s important, though, to read the room. Asking for a raise at an inopportune time could decrease your chances of getting promoted and ultimately progressing in your career. Ahead, we’ve rounded up tips for asking for a raise while working remotely.
When you’re asking for a promotion or raise, it’s imperative that you understand where you’ve excelled and how that has contributed to the bottom line of the company. Having a tool that tracks all the tasks you’ve completed and things you’ve accomplished is critical. A project management tool with in-depth analytics, like Hive, can help you track overall tasks completed, project status, major milestones reached, and other useful information via Hive Analytics. Having these analytics and statistics are a powerful tool and advantage to have at your disposal.
Another tip is to make sure that your achievements bubble up to an overall company goal. How has what you’ve accomplished affected the business as a whole? What have you done that has measurably impacted the trajectory of your company? Once you know that, and have the stats to back it up, you’ll have a much more productive time asking for a raise.
Since we’re all working remote, making sure that this meeting occurs over video chat is important. We’d generally discourage you from asking for a raise or promotion over chat or Slack — it’s informal and you won’t be as connected personally to the individual you’re asking. If you’re in a project management tool like Hive, you can even use a Zoom meeting shortcut to go straight from chat into a Zoom meeting in seconds. Scheduling actual face time to ask for the raise is important.
The worst thing you can do when you ask for a raise or promotion is to come without materials prepared. It’s great if you can rattle off some statistics or numbers about how you’ve improved the business’ bottom line, but if you simply verbalize them, there’s a greater chance the information gets lost in the shuffle.
Make sure you have a clear agenda and notes ready to share with your manager before the meeting. In a tool like Hive, you can sync up a Hive Notes sheet to the meeting itself, and share it directly with your manager. You can both collaborate on notes and any action items that come out of the meeting in real time, as well as assign next steps. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
View of Hive notes feature.
We’re in the middle of a pandemic. Things are shifting drastically and frequently. While you may think you deserve a raise (and you probably do!), really make an effort to understand where your business stands in the overall landscape. For example, a raise during mass quarantine might be difficult if you work at a boutique fitness studio or hotel that had to close during a part of the pandemic. Think about your overall timing, and make sure to consider how the business is doing in the grand scheme of things.
This goes hand in hand with emotional intelligence, but when you go to ask for a raise remotely and over video, making sure you showcase a positive attitude visually is important. If you present your case in a negative, disengaging way, it’s going to make things much more difficult. Like I said before, nearly 73% of our communication is non-verbal, so while you’re asking for a raise while working remote, pay extra attention to facial expressions and how you’re presenting your case.
This harkens back to our comment about taking notes, but following up on career progression, promotions, or next steps is almost as important as having the meeting itself. Making sure that you have clear next steps and expectations in writing will help hold everyone accountable and track progress. If you take your meeting notes in Hive, you can simply send the notes to all meeting attendees via email alongside a quick meeting overview and the attached next steps. This will help ensure long-term success and will leave a trail of communication.
All in all, working remotely definitely has its benefits and drawbacks. While it can be much trickier to find the right career progression timeline for you at your organization, it’s important to have conversations and ask for a raise remotely if needed.
— Michaela Rollings
This article originally appeared in Hive — the world's first democratically built productivity platform. Learn more at Hive.com.