Job hunters on Seek are demanding work from home - should you do the same?

Job website Seek said their most common searched term in the quarter to June was "work from home".

More jobseekers than ever say they've got to have that option, but not everyone has that - so how can you convince your boss to let you WFH? 

COVID-19 may not be in our rearview mirror yet, but we've left it at the kerb and are slowly pulling away. These days, we can leave our house, have friends over for wines, and even go to a show featuring that local band we all love (of course, the moment they hit it big they're dead to us).

However, lockdown-inspired work from home is still with us. In fact, the people at Seek said those looking for new jobs insist WFH is a must-have. Nearly a third of workers claim if their job got rid of the option, they'd resign.

It's easy to see why many Kiwis love it. Cheap lunch, you can wear your robe all day, and there's no commute! But, for some, there are downsides.

"It's not for everyone," Seek NZ's Rob Clark told The Project. "One in four Kiwis say it does lead to a sense of loneliness."

Even so, the most sought-after employment perk is no longer the flash parking spot or key to the executive toilet.

"Everybody who's interviewing for roles is asking if they can work from home," employment lawyer Melissa Johnston told The Project. "My recommendation is that employers put a policy in place, so expectations are set. It's about trusting your staff and managing them."

There are plenty of jobs that don't fit the WFH mold. Construction workers, mechanics, and ninja assassins can't really do the job from their couch.

But if your employer could make it work and doesn't, how do you convince them to give it a go? Johnston said get organised and give your boss good reasons for wanting to work from home

"Don't say you want to be doing your washing and your dishes," Johnston told The Project. "Say something like, 'I want to work from home and I've got a long commute. These are the ways I think it can work, and I can be available for Zoom calls or come in for certain meetings'. It's about both parties behind flexible and having that transparent conversation."

Johnston believes, for now, the appetite for working from home is here to stay and employers are going to have to get used to it. However, offering up those opportunities actually benefits employers.  

"They're more likely to attract and retain staff."

Johnston said that during COVID-19, the people who did work from home were actually more productive.

"They don't have that pressure to get home by a certain time, they don't have to hit the road by five, so we are seeing a lot of people working harder at home than in the office."