Asking your company to work remotely — particularly full time — can be nerve-wracking. Not only is it challenging to understand exactly how to tell your boss you want to work remotely, but there’s also the worry that your request to work from home full time might be turned down.
Read on for answers whether you’re in a position that requires you to return to the office after a long period of working from home due to the pandemic, or if you have already returned to the office but are now wondering, “How do I ask to work remotely?”
Craft Your Proposal
If you’re serious about wanting to work remotely full time, then you should create a formal proposal in writing that officially presents the idea to your employer. In your proposal, begin by sharing the reasons you want to work from home, but focus most of your efforts on explaining why remote work will benefit your boss, team and company.
To do this, you’ll need to work steps into your proposal that convince your boss that you’re work-from-home worthy, reveal evidence of why working from home works for you, and show you care about team connections, communications and contacts. The following sections will detail each of these steps for your remote work proposal.
Prove You Can Get the Job Done
If you’ve spent most of your time on the job working in an office, have you been a stellar employee in that environment? And if you’ve had a trial run of working from home during the pandemic, whether part time or full time, how well did you perform in this role?
Think through your answers to these questions carefully before writing your work-from-home proposal. If you weren’t a standout employee in your last or current work location, then your manager may not be motivated to grant you full-time remote work.
To prove that you are work-from-home worthy, gather tangible, data-driven evidence that shows your results and your value. If you’ve made yourself indispensable to your team and company where you work now and can show proof of that in your proposal, this will help justify that you are ready and responsible enough to be entrusted with full-time remote work.
Compile Evidence of How and Why Remote Work Works
Once you’ve made the case that you’re a star player who can succeed in a permanent work-from-home role, it can strengthen your proposal to add in some general statistics about remote work’s effectiveness. Share research on work-from-home productivity, incorporate case studies of others on your team or in your company who are excelling in their remote roles, and find articles on companies with successful track records with work-from-home employees.
Despite how common and popular remote work has become, some bosses and employers still prefer to have everyone in the office, so proving how and why virtual work helps teams and companies thrive can help break through that mindset and gain strength for your work-from-home proposal.
Care About Team Connections and Contact
If your boss has concerns about you working from home full time, it likely traces back to a worry that you’ll be harder to communicate with when you’re working off-site. Your proposal should thus address exactly how you plan to stay in close touch with your colleagues, foster team connections and maintain regular contact for collaboration when needed.
Map out a schedule when you plan to be available to your boss and co-workers online or via videoconference, clarify the hours you will commit to working remotely and share how you plan to participate in team meetings and company information exchanges.
Carefully Consider the Answer You Hear
Even with a solid remote work proposal, it’s possible that your manager won’t want you to work from home — at least not full time. If your boss offers a hybrid model that allows you to work remotely some of the time, consider whether this setup will get you close enough to your goals.
Many more companies offer the opportunity for remote work today, so it’s more possible than ever to find a full-time, work-from-home job. If your remote work proposal is rejected or modified, think about whether you want to accept the compromise — or whether a full-time, work-from-home arrangement is important enough for you to seek another position.
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