Consider These 4 Tips Before Asking Your Boss To Work From Home Permanently
After more than a year of working from home induced by a pandemic, many professionals realized that they clearly preferred to pursue a version of working from home (hybrid or full) in the longer term. While they can’t wait to eliminate travel, enjoy more solitude, and improve work-life balance, they probably aren’t looking forward to having that conversation with their boss. Depending on the organization’s pre-pandemic culture and the nature of its work, this could certainly be a big request, but there is a right way to approach it.
Author of Always Wear Pants: And 99 more tips for surviving and thriving while you work from home, Kevin Rizer shares four powerful tips for anyone preparing for this delicate but important conversation.
Tip # 1 – Focus primarily on the benefits to the team / business, not you
While you obviously aren’t asking to continue working remotely if it doesn’t benefit you, Rizer suggests it’s a mistake to focus on this. âFrame your request not based on how remote working will benefit you, but how it can benefit your business,â says Rizer. âIt’s not enough to appreciate the flexibility of working from home. Explain how without travel you can do more, or why the absence of interruptions and disruptions in the office means you can work at an even higher standard. While you certainly don’t need to create a literal business case for remote working, it certainly helps to approach the discussion with that mindset.
Tip # 2 – Bring some data
I once had a boss who had a quote on his wall that said, âIn God we trust. Everyone else is providing data. I have never forgotten this and since then I have always tried to base my arguments on verifiable facts. Likewise, Rizer suggests showing up with data in hand to help strengthen your case for long-term remote work. âIf you’ve been working remotely for a while, take a look at your metrics,â he insists. âIdeally, you’ve reached (or even surpassed) the level you were at when you were in the office. It’s powerful information that you can use to your advantage.
Tip # 3 – Be flexible
While it’s easy for us to focus on what we want, it can be more effective to start the discussion by thinking about what your boss or organization might want or any concerns they might have about your. long-term remote work. One way to minimize these concerns is to approach the discussion with a clear intention of flexibility. âMaybe your boss wants you to be in the office a few days a month, or there are some important sales meetings, trainings, or conferences that the company really needs you to attend,â suggests Rizer. âShow your willingness to make sure that the key elements of your job are not left out if you are working remotely. Indeed, letting them know that you recognize and expect that there might be events that you would need to attend in person minimizes the anxiety they may have around high priority activities.
Tip # 4 – Offer a trial period
While your boss might not be ready to approve a long-term work at home job five minutes after you submit it, the idea of ââan essay can be really appealing (and a lot harder to turn down). Rizer insists, âSuggesting a 3-6 month trial period can be a great way to get a reluctant boss or HR manager to your way of considering the prospect of working remotely. An essay obviously downplays them. level of engagement and their risks, and it gives you the opportunity to show them how the remote arrangement can continue to work even if others return to the office.
Asking for a long-term job from home can be intimidating as many organizations are scrambling to get back to the office, but for many professionals, it will undoubtedly be the right decision. For many critics of remote working, the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic has proven that working from home can actually work very well, but many managers and leaders will certainly still be resistant to the idea. If you are considering applying for a long-term work from home job, anticipate any resistance, plan your approach, and advocate your case. You will be glad you did.