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How to Ask For a Raise When You Work Remotely

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You’re worth more than that.

You know it.

The number you see on your direct deposit slip doesn’t quite reflect the value you feel you are providing to your employer, but you’re not quite sure how to ask for a raise when you work remotely?

2020 and 2021 have completely changed the landscape of “Corporate America”. More people are now working remotely than ever. This means the game has changed. We now have to do things like ask for raises over Zoom?! That’s right. But, fear not. Even though some slight details have changed, the overall principles remain the same.

Today I’m going to show you exactly how to ask for a raise when you work remotely.

Why Bosses Give Raises


According to Dave Ramsey, as a boss, he would give a raise for three reasons:

  1. An employee is being underpaid accidentally

He goes on to say the employee would need some data points to prove that they are not being paid market value. This can be done with a comp study.

2. They’re able to show they are adding more value with proof

We’ll talk more about this later in the article, but the basic idea is that if you can show on paper (on a balance sheet of sorts) that you are providing more value and taking on more responsibility. It’s hard to say no.

3. They are worth more than it would cost to replace them

Dave gives an example of his secretary. He says she’s been with him for 17 years and even though her salary might be $70,000 it would probably cost a lot more to hire someone new and have them learn everything she’s learned over the last 17 years about Dave’s business than to give her a raise to $80,000.

The Appointment


The first thing you’ll need to do is set an appointment with your boss to talk about your prospective raise. Who this appointment is with will depend on your situation and corporate structure. Try starting with whoever you report directly to.

How this appointment is set will also depend on what your company’s situation looks like at the moment. Are you working remotely full-time? Or is it a hybrid situation? (a few days in the office per week and a few days remote).

Related: How to Ask Your Boss to Work Remotely

Hybrid

If you’re working on a hybrid schedule I highly recommend you set this appointment for a time when you’ll be able to meet with your boss in person. There are levels of rapport that are developed in person that can not be replicated over a video or phone call. Your boss will also appreciate and respect your decision to have this meeting face to face.

Full Time

If you’re a full-time remote employee, the solution is easy. Set an appointment with your boss over Zoom, Google Meet, Teams, etc. Even though the meeting will take place over video, dress appropriately. I see it too often. People think that because they are not in the physical office they can wrap a blanket around themselves and wear their sleep tee-shirt. Don’t do this! Dress professionally like you would if you were in the real office environment.

How to Set The Appointment


Set the appointment by sending a simple, yet direct email to your boss. Something like this:

Good morning/afternoon [Boss’s Name],

I hope your day is going well.

When you get a chance, I’d like to discuss a few things involved in my future with [Company Name].

Please let me know when you’re available. Thank you!

Best,

[Your Name]

If you have a caring boss, they will more than likely be very receptive to your notion to meet. The details beyond this should be pretty simple to work out. Select a time and place (if you’re fully remote this will be one of the video conferencing platforms).

Showcase Your Responsibilities


Now that you have your appointment, it’s time to prepare.

First, make a list of all of your responsibilities that you had last year or in the years prior.

Second, make a list of all of the responsibilities that you have today.

If the second list is greater, this is a wonderful thing to show your boss during your appointment. It is a concrete way to show your employer that you are taking on more responsibility and ultimately adding more value to the company.

If the first list is greater or the same as the second list, then it’s probably not a good time to ask for a raise. Try and take on more responsibility over the next 6 months to a year and then come back to this article.

Also, list down any projects you have been able to complete ahead of schedule, any additional revenue you have brought in and any ultra satisfied clients.

Do not go into the appointment with the attitude of “You owe me a raise!”. Go in with an attitude that you want to make a mutually beneficial agreement that will allow you to stay with the company long term.

Know Your Number


Go into your appointment with your boss knowing exactly how much of a raise you’re going to ask for. This can save you from receiving a raise that might not quite meet your expectations.

According to Investopedia, the average raise is 3-5%. However, this can vary depending on other factors such as the industry, location, and how long you’ve been with the company.

Tell your boss your desired figure with confidence, but not arrogance, cockiness, or entitlement.

Prepare Yourself For No


Even with all the preparation and proof by your side, your boss might still say no. This is part of life.

If this does happen, be prepared to ask your boss what would qualify you for a raise. This way you have a specific set of steps you can take to get the raise you want. Once you’ve met the requirements your boss has set for you, set another appointment and repeat the process.

Related: Top 4 Work From Home Jobs With Benefits

At the End of The Day…


Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank says, “Your boss has more to do with your future than the company you’re working for, your responsibilities, and everything else. If they love you, they will push you ahead.”

If this is true, maybe you should work on getting your boss to love you and they just might approach you about the raise first.