How to Persuade Your Boss to Let You Work From Home

With benefits such as higher job satisfaction, better work-life balance, greater flexibility and economic savings, you may be interested in remote jobs. Luckily, the prevalence of video conference calls, file sharing and instant messaging means telecommuting is easier than ever.

Indeed, 43 percent of employed Americans spend some time working from home, and more workers spend more time telecommuting than did just a few years ago, according to a 2016 Gallup study.

Converting your traditional, in-office role to a telecommuting job requires creating a remote work proposal that will persuade your boss.

[Read: 5 Simple Tips to Working Remotely.]

Here’s how to write a winning work-from-home proposal:

— Gather data.

— Prove you’re an effective employee.

— Be ready to explain why.

— Craft a plan.

— Suggest a trial period.

Gather data.

Pitching an idea to your boss requires gathering data. Research studies on employee productivity, find out what other businesses say about employing remote workers and calculate how much your department could save if you worked remotely. Look for case studies and talk to peers at relevant firms to research how other companies in your industry handle remote work. What are their policies? What positions do their remote workers have?

Once you have gathered the data you feel will be most effective, create an infographic or a short PowerPoint presentation with the statistics you have found. Incorporating this information will help persuade your boss that this trend can work for you and your company, too.

Prove you are an effective employee.

If you want to work from home, you have to prove that you are an effective and hardworking employee right now. If your boss isn’t convinced that you’re a great worker when you’re at the office, you certainly won’t be able to convince him or her that you will be productive working from home.

To do this, create a document tracking your professional accomplishments such as measurable results from projects, kudos from clients and managers or anything else that underscores your abilities. Highlight strengths needed to work remotely, such as showing diligence, meeting deadlines, communicating clearly and working autonomously.

Your employer needs to appreciate that you are a valuable employee and understand that it’s in the company’s best interest to keep you happy instead of losing you and having to hire someone else for your job. Of course, don’t present your case as a threat in your work-from-home proposal. Simply ensure that company leaders will advocate for allowing you to work from home.

[Read: How to Bolster Your Remote Work Culture.]

Be ready to explain why.

Your boss will no doubt want to know why you are creating a remote work proposal, so take some time to analyze why you want to telecommute. Would working from home allow you greater flexibility? Do you want to relocate but keep your same job? Would it help you be more productive?

Consider this a sales pitch. Make your proposal about the company and the bottom line, not about you. Don’t provide great detail about your personal reasons and don’t make them the focus of your conversation.

Craft a plan.

Your remote work proposal should include a draft schedule including tasks that you can complete from home. It’s important to be thorough with your plan and anticipate any questions or potential concerns that your boss will bring up. When your boss sees how committed you are to making remote work a success and how detailed you have been, he or she will be more likely to accept your request.

Questions to address in your remote work proposal include:

— How strong is your home internet connection?

— Will you need to take phone calls, and if so, what number will you use?

— Can you access your organization’s systems from home?

— What days would you work from home and what would your schedule be?

— How will you communicate with your team and your boss?

— How will you handle turning in projects?

— Why will working remotely improve your work productivity?

[Read: Vermont Is Paying People to Move There and Work Remotely.]

Suggest a trial period.

Your boss may not be prepared to commit to permanent remote work for you. Be ready to suggest a trial period of perhaps three months to evaluate the results of working from home. Identify the tasks or projects you feel confident you can complete during that time and discuss what goals or results your boss would need to see to be convinced of success.

A trial period is also a great way to determine if you really like remote work. And if your boss is unwilling to move forward with letting you work remotely, it will help you decide if you need to search for remote work elsewhere.

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