Tuesday 23 April 2019

How to Convince Your Boss to Let You Work Remotely

Alice Murray - Independent Jobs

Do you dream of ditching your stuffy morning commute? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to create your perfect home office?

You don’t need to find a new job to do so! Working remotely has become increasingly popular over the last decade and it’s not hard to see why.

Now more than ever employees want job flexibility and self-autonomy. The option of working remotely gives people the chance to travel, spend more time with loved ones and perhaps even get more work done.

It’s important to remember that working from home doesn’t mean that you can just lie around in your pyjamas all day doing the bare minimum. If you’re really serious about changing up your work routine then we have come up with some tips for how to broach the subject with your boss.

Ask yourself why do you want to work from home?

Before talking to your boss, be clear on why you wish to work from home in the first place. Maybe you’re easily distracted in a loud and crowded office. Perhaps you are losing out on important family time thanks to your killer commute. Whatever your motives are you need to be honest with yourself about what you’re asking for.

Remember, the focus should not solely be on your personal freedom, but rather on reaching your goals in a remote setting.

Try to figure out if it’s feasible

A lot of people do work that can be completed from any location (with an internet connection). But not all jobs are the same. You’re going to need to ask yourself some tough questions. Do you spend most of your day communicating with others? Are you in charge of a team? Do you attend a lot of in-person meetings? If you answered yes to these questions then remote working might not be for you.

You will need to be honest with yourself and with your boss. Can you fulfil all of your responsibilities from home? Can you prove it?

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Timing is everything

You probably shouldn’t ask your boss about remote working options when they are midway through their tuna sandwich at lunchtime. If you want to get a proper answer then you will need to ask them at an appropriate time.

Bring the topic up at your annual review. This is the perfect time to state exactly what you want and lay it all out on the table. You might not get an answer right away but at least you have started the conversation.

Another good time to bring up the subject of remote working is during peak season or your busiest time of year. Your boss or manager may want you to put in some overtime. Let them know that if you worked from home you would be able to save time on your morning commute.

Propose a trial

Your boss may be reluctant to let you work from home straight away. If that is the case then why don’t you try it out a trial basis? Perhaps you could work from home one day a week for three months or maybe designate two weeks to remote working per quarter.

The trial period will allow you and your boss to see if remote work is feasible within the organisation. You will need to show that you are a hard worker and effective communicator during this time. Schedule a meeting after the trial to discuss the results.

Don’t take it to heart

If your boss rejects your request to work from home, don't be disheartened. While allowing employees to work at home is increasingly standard practice, some companies still haven’t got with the times. Instead of sulking over a missed opportunity do your best to remain upbeat.

You won’t be able to change the company culture overnight but there are some things that you can do to boost your chances in the future. You could try talking to HR about implementing a new policy or even research how other companies have made remote working part of their structure. Who knows, maybe you will get the chance to work from home in the future.

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