For everyone chasing the Four-Hour Workweek, COVID-19 is a blessing. Here’s why.
Munich, March 2016. It’s a sunny, fresh spring day, and I’m enjoying the breeze in my hair as I’m biking to the office. Only one objective is on my mind: to convince my boss to let me work remotely for a week.
The day before, I may or may not have purchased a trip to California that includes a five-day layover in Riga, Latvia (crazy travel booking process that prompted me to write my second blogpost ever). And now I had to figure out how to still get my work done without being at the office.
I had a clear negotiation strategy in my mind, using the blueprint Tim Ferriss provides in his groundbreaking book “The 4-Hour Workweek” (which I consider my “bible”). If you haven’t read it, check it out — it is relevant as ever today
Ferris’ blueprint works as follows:
- Increase investment: ask for additional training or other resources, because with every investment the company makes in you, you become harder to fire. This step is optional if you have exceptional value to the company already.
- Prove that your remote output is superior to your office output: use a random excuse to work remotely for a day or two, and make sure those days are the most productive you’ve ever had.
- Show the quantifiable business benefit: now prepare a comparison between output in your remote days vs. in your office days. Going remote needs to be valuable for the business too — why else would they let you do it?
- Propose a revocable trial period: now that you’ve proven that you can do remote work, ask for a trial period having a day or two remotely every week.
- Expand remote time: after the trial has worked (and you have generated more and more output), you can go full remote.
When I arrived at the office, I grabbed a coffee and asked my boss: “Hey, do you have a minute?” Minutes later, in the meeting room, I showed him my results from the previous time I had worked from home, and asked him if I could do it again.