Tips for Asking Your Boss if You Can Work From Home

Man on phone with laptop and coffee
Be flexible when asking to work from home. Jordan Siemens/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Now more than ever, it is possible for many different types of professionals to work from home. As technology becomes increasingly pervasive and more companies move their operations online, many tasks can become completed remotely.

More and more businesses are allowing employees to work from home, even it is only for just a few days a week. While this can increase the efficiency of an individual worker, eliminating commute time and office distractions, for example, it can also save the company valuable resources.

If you're thinking about working from home, you should make a strategic plan to approach your employer.  Decide on what type of schedule you would be interested in, and what would work best for both you and your company.

Be prepared to be flexible when negotiating a work from home arrangement. The more flexibility you suggest to your employer, the better your chances of getting a “yes” answer.

How to Ask Your Boss if You Can Work From Home

Here are some tips from Chris Duchesne, Vice President of Global Workplace Solutions for Care.com.

  • Understand your company’s HR policies and make sure you’re following them as you start on the path to working from home.
     
  • Define a plan with your manager that demonstrates how you’re going to meet your responsibilities and still contribute to the team and the company. Focus on measurable goals that you can point to and make your manager feel comfortable with you working remotely.
     
  • Don’t focus only on your needs and what’s going to help you from a personal perspective. You need to look at it from the company’s perspective as well. When meeting with your manager, outline how it’s going to be a win-win for you and for the organization.
     
  • Think through what it really means to work remotely before you approach your boss. Make sure you have an effective workspace and the proper technology and materials to work effectively from home.
    • Commit to a trial period and regular check-ins and be willing to adjust over time to make it work for you, your team and your employer. Think about how you’re going to show your presence in the office, be responsive by phone and email.
       
    • Be flexible. What will work for your company, or you, might be different in January than it is in July. If summer is your company’s busy season, be willing to come into the office more during those months. If you expect your boss to be flexible with you, reciprocate to meet their needs as well.

    Keep in mind that your boss may not be able to give you permission during your meeting. He may need to check with his supervisor and/or the organization's Human Resources Department.

    Writing up a plan for how you can effectively work from home can help your supervisor make the case for you. In fact, you may want to put your request in writing prior to your meeting.

    That way, your boss isn't surprised by your request and you're prepared with a rationale as to why you don't need to spend all your working hours in the office.

    Here are sample email messages and letters asking to work remotely.

    Sample Work From Home Request Letters

    Read More: Top 10 Jobs to Work Remotely

    Related Articles: Why Companies Should Consider Working Remotely as an Option for Employees