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I have been working for 6 months in this company as a SW engineer (Europe). When I signed the contract, at the end it stated the salary and a "contract review at the end of the year, December", so as to increase salary or modify conditions. So the contract review can be a performance review, but not necessarily.

I'd feel bad asking for a pay increase, as I am happy with my salary, haven't even been for a year, and I think that, at the moment, it is paid accordingly. In another 6 months, I might change my opinion. My problem resides in remote working. Although they are very flexible with times of working (when to start and end each day, IN the office), nowhere in the contract have I seen anything related to remote working. In the interview, they told me that it is allowed a maximum of 2 days per week. They are flexible as if: my car was in the mechanic for a week, and I worked remotely that week, no problem.

2 months ago I was told by my manager (in what I interpreted as a bit of a "tense manner") to come to the office more because the upper ones (all of them have reserved car spaces to park btw) told all managers that people were doing it too much and 2 days was the max allowed. During a meeting with my manager, I was remote working as I was sick, and the HR person (there's only one) was walking behind, saw me, and went next to my manager and "jokingly" told me: "You have to come more to the office HUH, too much remote working". I just laughed it off saying I was sick and it could be troublesome for other around me.

Due to my current personal circumstances, I find that 3-4 days of remote working would be great for me. My performance is high, and I have asked how my work is doing (performance), and I only get positive feedback, regardless doing it remote or not.

I understand that there are not many developers/IT in my company, so maybe other positions "are required to" not remote work. HR did not mention anything regarding this contract review for December (past month). How should I approach about the review (without sounding like I WANT MORE MONEY RIGHT NOW or sounding "desperate"), and specifically about remote working? Would it be bad to mention that for me it is a very important aspect when working in a job? As this can be a subtle sign of "I will look somewhere else if not". I like where I work. I just don't like not being able to remote work when it does not really affect my work performance.

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    Great answer btw, thanks! @JoeStrazzere . Do I have to specifically mention how my situation (mental health, sleeping problems for years) or the superficial part, which directly affects the mentioned before: time of commuting (extremely bad communicated public transport and traffic jams), = wasting tons of time or having to get there extremely early, kill some time, work, and if leaving late due to bad organisation from above, also high commuting time, not having anyone really to talk about job related stuff as I am working alone in this specific project).
    – M.K
    Jan 4, 2023 at 13:11
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    “I was remote working as I was sick” - I see one potential problem with this statement, were you sick, or were you able to work? If you were sick presumably you shouldn’t have been working and should have been on sick leave in attempt to get better. However, with regards to WFH, you might have to accept the fact the world is starting to return to normal and they might include going into the office. There are of course companies that exist that have different remote work policies, your company, doesn’t sound to be that company.
    – Donald
    Jan 4, 2023 at 13:26
  • In that specific situation, I could work, I was just very congested, coughing and sneezing consistently @Donald Thanks for the feedback
    – M.K
    Jan 4, 2023 at 13:31
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    @Donald I think most of us who have ever had a remote work option recognize that there are different levels of illness. There are days when I am not well enough to work a full day, and definitely not get in the car for a long commute, but I can open my laptop (maybe even in bed) and get some work completed. And surely we understand that no one wants to work in an office with some obviously contagious person breathing all over everything (and often making nasty noises such as excessive coughing, sneezing, and nose-blowing).
    – ribs2spare
    Jan 11, 2023 at 16:54
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    @Job_September_2020 hmm, I've heard multiple accounts of companies telling potential employees one thing about remote work during the interview and then suddenly changing this policy to require more in-office work. The employees aren't usually told that they have a right to the policy that was advertised to them.
    – ribs2spare
    Jan 11, 2023 at 16:55

2 Answers 2

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How should I approach about the review (without sounding like I WANT MORE MONEY RIGHT NOW or sounding "desperate"), and specifically about remote working? Would it be bad to mention that for me it is a very important aspect when working in a job? As this can be a subtle sign of "I will look somewhere else if not". I like where I work. I just don't like not being able to remote work when it does not really affect my work performance.

You should discuss it with your manager.

Be honest that you really wish to be able to work remotely more than just occasionally, as company policy allows, and ask if there is any way to make this happen. Try to explain why this works out well for you and most importantly why it would work out well for them, too.

As suggested by TheDemonLord, be specific in what you are asking for.

Be prepared if the answer is "No".

Perhaps it's just time to look for a job with a company that will allow you to work remotely as much as you prefer.

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    To add to this answer (which is a good answer) - I would suggest before you start your discussion, decide on a set number of days per week that you'd like to WFH and which day(s) you will be in the office. It's easier for a Manager to evaluate a request of 'I'd like to WFH on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, coming into the office on Wednesday and Thursday' than it is to evaluate 'Oh 3-4 times a week, maybe'. Sacrificing some flexibility in order to get more days WFH may be an option. Jan 4, 2023 at 22:32
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The best you can is to have an open discussion with your manager.

  • Open with the same introduction as you did here: things are going well you are happy with your job, your performance appears to be good and you are getting along with everyone. Ask your manager to confirm or present their view. Then listen.
  • Talk about remote working: it's been working quite well, it's important for you personally and it does not seem to impact the specific work that you are doing.
  • Then just ask: you understand that the official policy is 2 days/week max but what could be done in your specific case to adjust this.
  • Ask what the specific reasons for 2-days max are and offer to actively work on mitigating or addressing these reasons.
  • Depending on how things are going you can choose to throw in that "this is more important to me than compensation" indicating that you are willing to yield a bit on the money front for the remote benefit.

Be prepared to receive "no" as an answer. Most companies will apply their policies consistently and are unlikely to make exceptions (for good reasons). If that's the case, you need to decide for yourself if that's still acceptable for you or if you want to stat looking.

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