How to Convince Your Boss to Let You Work Remotely

The industrial revolution is over, and gone with it is the outdated concept of working from 9 to 5. Chances are that if you find yourself working a job where most of your communication with your coworkers happens over email, you could already be on your way to convincing your boss to let you work from home.

Our first instinct when it comes to working from home is to search for a whole new job that offers that sort of flexibility, but not all remote work starts that way. In fact, many location independent people are regular, full-time employees and NOT freelancers - shocking, right? Having the flexibility to work remotely is becoming a priority for more and more people, and although not all employers offer the benefit of telecommuting outright, there are some steps that you can take that could help convince the higher-ups to let you skip out on coming in to the office.

Check with Human Resources

  • Sometimes companies have policies and perks in place that fly under the radar either because they don’t promote them or no one really thinks to look. Check with your HR department and read over your employee manual to see if there is any information about flexible work options.

Create a proposal

  • Regardless of whether or not your company has a flexible work option, you’ll want to be prepared when you have ‘the talk’. It might seem like overkill if your office is laid back and casual, but you really want to show that you’ve put thought into why working from home would benefit you BOTH. Hit them with some hard facts, like remote workers are up to 13% more productive due to taking fewer breaks and sick days (Stanford) and allowing for remote work decreases overhead for businesses (Forbes). You’ll need to convince them of how having remote workers will benefit them, and if you treat it like a proper business proposal, they’ll have a harder time saying no.

Give them a Reason to Say Yes

  • Consider a trial period. Instead of going all in, your boss may be more comfortable with the idea of letting you work from home 1 or 2 days a week. Stay on top of your communication and show them that you won’t miss a beat, and after a few months of proving your reliability, pitch them the idea of letting you go fully remote.

Be a Model Communicator

  • If anything, being a remote worker requires a lot of over communicating. So get in the habit of checking in with your team regularly, whether it be via email, phone or messenger so that when you do ask to work from home they will be confident in your abilities to not let things fall through the cracks.

When in Doubt, Take the Interview

  • Maybe you’ll want to consider getting a new job altogether, in which case, keep in mind that interviews are a two-way street. As the interviewee, you’ll feel like you’re under a ton of stress to impress, but you’re not just there to prove to the employer why they should hire you, you’re also there to ask questions and see if they’re also a fit for you. Unless a job listing explicitly states that they won’t consider a remote employee, don’t sell yourself short by not showing up and assuming that they aren’t open to discussing flexible work options.