According to a 2019 LinkedIn survey, roughly half of employees work from home at least one day a week, while 82% want to have the option of doing so. There are plenty of companies that offer flexible work arrangements already, including Amazon, Lionbridge, Dell, Hilton, Working Solutions, Williams-Sonoma, Xerox, Salesforce, and American Express.
Whether you’re a writer, QA tester, recruiter, or graphic designer, chances are it’s possible for you to do at least some of your work remotely. Wondering how to convince your supervisor to let you work from home? Here are 7 tips for persuading them.
1. Review your company policies
First, review any existing policies your company has on working from home. If you can’t find anything about them in the company handbook, check with HR. This will help you make your case to your boss. For example, if the decision is left up to the department head, it means you only need to convince one person and can appeal to them based on what you know about them.
2. Talk to your peers and colleagues
Do you know someone who works from home successfully? Ask them about how they managed to persuade their boss to allow them to do so. This is especially helpful if you know someone who works for the same employer and is able to do so remotely at least some of the time. You can point to concrete examples of how they’ve managed to accomplish their work and maintain productivity.
3. Point to the benefits for your employer
The best argument to support your case is an explanation of how working from home will benefit your employer. One important pro for them is that remote employers tend to work more — 1.4 days more per month or 16.8 days per year on average — and have greater productivity than in-office employees, according to a survey by Airtasker.
You can also remind them how they’ll save money by allowing you to work remotely. They won’t have to provide you with office space, for example.
4. Point to the benefits for society
Many organizations are becoming increasingly cognizant of their carbon footprint. By allowing you to work from home, you’ll be helping them do their part for the environment since you won’t be commuting to work. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, transportation — including vehicles used for commuting — is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country.
5. Create a proposal and plan
You’ll need to do your homework and present a solid case on why you should be able to work remotely to your boss. Schedule a meeting to discuss it in-person. You should also come with a written proposal, describing how the arrangement will benefit them, and a concrete plan. For example, include a schedule with details about how you’ll spend your time and when you’ll be available to check in with them virtually or by phone.
6. Suggest channels of communication
As part of your proposal, explain how you’ll make yourself available. Include established check-in times when you’ll meet with your team and/or manager on Zoom or through another platform. Be sure to stay on your work email and explain how you’ll be able to respond to urgent requests.
7. Impress your boss during the trial period
Your boss may agree to let you work remotely for a trial period. In fact, you might bolster your argument by including this suggestion as part of your proposal. If there is a trial period, make it your priority to impress your manager by going above and beyond to encourage them to make the arrangement more permanent. For example, you should check in regularly, even more than you said you would in your proposal.
Be as productive as possible, and try to minimize distractions — you should definitely stay off of social media during your work time, unless, of course, it’s related to your job. The goal is to prove that this is the best arrangement for both of you.
Thanks to innovative technologies, including video conferencing platforms, cloud collaboration tools, and others, it’s easier than ever before to work remotely. Employers are responding to their workers’ requests for more flexible arrangements. Making a persuasive case to your boss can lead to a positive outcome for both of you.