After working from home for the past few months, does the thought of going back to the office and resuming your commute fill you with dread?
If you answered yes, then read on!
Before the pandemic, the concept of remote working was fairly foreign to most companies. But now, more and more businesses have come to realize it is possible for employees to move their operations online. Not only can working from home help to increase your work-life balance and eliminate commute time (that extra hour of sleep is everything!), it can also save valuable resources for your company by decreasing overhead costs.
Even so, some employers can be a hard sell on how a remote working arrangement can provide more value than the traditional 9-5 structure. So, if you’re thinking about asking your manager to allow you to make the switch to working from home, here are a few steps you should take to increase your chances of getting a “yes” for an answer.
1. Establish a stellar track record
One of the top concerns most managers have about remote work is whether their teams become less productive or slack off when working from home. By demonstrating a reputation as a diligent worker with the professionalism and motivation to maintain your performance without supervision, your manager is going to be much more likely to take that leap of faith when you ask to work remotely.
2. See it from their point of view
The biggest mistake you can make is framing work as a perk for yourself rather than a benefit for the company. If you really want to convince your manager to let you work remotely, focus on how the arrangement would be a win-win for both you and the organization.
For instance, rather than lament about the lack of commute or childcare,you can say something along the lines of “We’ve previously talked about how difficult it is to get those articles done on time because it gets so noisy in the office. If I were to work from home one day a week, it would really allow me to concentrate.”
In addition, research your company’s larger objectives to see how remote work might support them. For example, you can highlight the environment benefits of telecommuting for a company concerned about reducing their carbon footprint, or share stats about how flexible work arrangements could increase employee retention and attract a wider, stronger talent pool.
If you need a few more reasons to help convince your manager, you can check out our article “10 Benefits Of Working From Home That Will Help You See How Good It Is”.
3. Have a clear plan ready
There are a few things you should consider before broaching the subject of working from home.Do you have an adequate workspace with fast WiFi so you can work from home just as effectively? Have you considered how you would continue to handle your responsibilities and provide value to the team and company even when you’re not in the office? Will you be working from home temporarily, part-time or permanently?
Writing up a plan that clearly states how you plan on maintaining productivity will show your willingness to make the situation work and makes it easier for your manager to grasp the situation. The plan should include a set schedule, provide solutions on potential security concerns, shares methods for keeping your manager informed on projects and the various tools you can use to collaborate with coworkers(i.e. email, Zoom, Slack etc).
What is most important is placing an emphasis on output so your manager can be assured that you’re getting work done even if they can’t see the process. After all, you want to come up with a situation that will be a win-win, not add to their workload.
Lastly, keep in mind that at the end of the day – no matter how well-prepared you are –there’s a possibility your manager will say no. It could be because it’s a bad time fort he company or simply because they aren’t willing to make that step. Either way, it’s up to you to determine whether you are prepared to ask again later down the line, forget about it and stick with working from the office, or if it’s a deal-breaker for you, start looking for remote jobs.
4. Be flexible and specific
While it’s useful to approach your manager with a solid idea of your preferred work from home arrangement, knowing how to go about it can be the difference between getting a compromise of what you want or having your request turned down entirely.
So, keep your expectations in check and allow for some flexibility when negotiating. For instance, if your company is new to remote working or has reservations about how it would impact productivity, suggest a trial period with regular check-ins to allow both sides to work out any kinks and offer your manager the security of trying remote work without fully committing. If your company has busy periods during certain months, you could discuss the possibility of coming into the office more during those months to meet the company’s needs.
When crafting the email to your manager about the possibility of transitioning to remote work, your subject line should be clear and concise. The email body should be informative about your request and offer a clear call to action for your manager. It should also offer the option of discussing in person.
Here’s an email example requesting to work remotely a few days a week. You can use this as a guide when drafting your own email but would need to be tweaked according to your situation.
Subject line: Request to work from home part-time
Dear [Manager’s name],
As you know, I’ve occasionally worked from home over the past year or so. In that time, I’ve found that I am able to focus more and get work done faster without the usual distractions of being in a busy office.
I am fully invested in the success of this organization and genuinely value my time in the office. However, I feel that I could be just as, if not more effective, by working from home a few days a week.
I know that our company hasn’t tried remote working before, but would it be possible for me to try work from home two to three days a week on a trial basis? I’ve drafted a preliminary plan that outlines a suggested schedule as well as some research on communication tools I will use to ensure there is no impact on work security, team collaboration and productivity. I am also more than happy to be flexible about what works best for you and the company’s overall need s, and can of course come into the office when needed.
Would it be possible to set up a time to discuss further this week?
Thank you for your kind consideration.
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There you have it! All the tips you’ll need to help you secure a remote work arrangement even with the most skeptical of managers.
Ever tried to request a work from home arrangement? How did it go? Let us know – we'd love to find out what worked (or didn’t!) and feature your experience on our social media platforms and blog! Just email the BOOQED team at firstname.lastname@example.org. :)