How To Convince Your Boss To Let You Work From Home

Robin Schwartz

How To Convince Your Boss To Let You Work From Home

Workplaces are seeing an increased trend in employees working remotely or from home offices. Companies are finding that permitting regular or occasional work from home opportunities is an enticing benefit to offer.

Still, some employees are finding they work for organizations or supervisors who are hesitant to permit remote work arrangements. Here is how you can convince your boss to try it out.

Determine Your Motivations

Before you make a formal plea to your boss, honestly consider what your motivations are to work from home. If you are faced with a long commute every day, you could likely argue that being permitted to work from home twice a week will allow you to spend more time on work-related activities and less time in a frustrating commute.

If you work in a deadline driven environment, you may be able to convince your boss that being permitted to work remotely the day before a big deadline will allow you to focus on the work without distraction.

If you want to work from home so you can avoid the cost of childcare or because you don’t like the person you share a cubicle with at the office, your case will lose credibility. Your reasoning for working from home should clearly provide a benefit to the organization as well as yourself.

Develop A Plan

Prior to meeting with your boss, create a work from home plan. Be specific in outlining the days you are asking to work remotely compared to those you will still be in the office. Provide information about the remote set-up you have access to or are prepared to create.

Clearly describe the environment in which you will be working and ensure your boss it will be free from distractions by anyone living in the home.

Included in your plan should be the various ways you can be reached when offsite (email, cell phone, home phone, etc.). If there should be an urgent issue that arises, indicate how you would be able to respond or handle it. This might even mean being willing to come into the office unexpectedly.

Identify colleagues in the office who you may be able to approach to serve as a backup while you are offsite. Your boss may feel more comfortable knowing there is someone in the office who can handle any issues.

Take Advantage of Opportunities

Even before you have an approved work from home schedule, you may be able to take advantage of occasional opportunities and provide them as examples to your boss of successful remote work. Should you encounter a significant weather event that closes your office, be prepared to continue your work from home.

When you approach your boss with the remote work request, you can use these examples to support your ability to work from home.

Talk To Your Boss

Schedule the time to speak with your boss privately about your desire to work remotely and the plan you devised to ensure success. Start with explaining your motivations to your boss and describe how being permitted to work from home will benefit all parties involved.

Present the remote work plan you developed and discuss how you gave the arrangement serious consideration before approaching him/her with the request. Explain the plan you created in detail and give your boss the opportunity to ask any clarifying questions.

If at the end of conversation your boss indicates he/she needs time to consider the proposal, be understanding. Ask politely when you can expect a response and state your willingness to provide additional information or answer any questions as they arise.

Be Flexible

If your boss has concerns about following your devised plan, be flexible. He/she may not feel comfortable permitting two work from home days a week to start out but instead recommend one.

Understand that your boss is likely trying to ensure that the arrangement is working before agreeing to more time out of the office. Take the approval of any permitted remote work as a success. You can always start small and build on that foundation later.

Be Reliable

Should your boss agree to your request on a temporary basis, don’t do anything that could jeopardize it. When you are not working in the office, make sure he/she is able to get a hold of you when you are needed.

If you are requesting to work from home to meet deadlines, be sure those deadlines are never missed. You don’t want to give your boss any reason to reconsider the work arrangement because he/she fears you are at home watching TV instead of doing work.

Revisit The Arrangement As Necessary

Indicate you are willing to revisit the work from home arrangement when your boss feels it is necessary to do so. This will allow you to revisit the arrangement later as well if you feel that additional remote work time is warranted.

Make sure your boss knows that you intend to check in regularly to ensure that everyone remains happy with the agreement.

Working from home might not be a benefit all employees have the luxury of requesting or even considering. For those who do, you need to alleviate any concerns or fears your boss might have before you get the seal of approval.

About The Author

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz has nearly a decade of experience providing HR expertise to employees and management in higher education. Her broad experience includes benefits, compensation, performance management, employee relations, payroll, talent acquisition and management. She received her masters degree from American Military University and maintains a PHR certification.

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