Working from home is a terrific perk that countless employees benefit from today. In fact, it's estimated that 34% of workers do their jobs from a remote location. That said, working from home isn't a right, but a privilege. And until you earn it, you may have a hard time getting your manager to agree to it. Here are a few points you can share to sway your boss toward a work-from-home arrangement.
1. Highlight the work you've done independently
One major concern your boss might have about letting you work from home is whether you'll manage to keep up with your responsibilities in the absence of an authority figure breathing down your neck. And it's a valid point of apprehension.
Therefore, the best way to alleviate that concern is to highlight your proven track record of successful independent work. When you sit down to discuss a work-from-home arrangement, bring up that data project you ran without guidance, or the presentation you undertook without being asked. Reminding your boss that you've worked well without supervision in the past is a good way to get the green light to start doing your job outside the office.
2. Showcase your time management skills
Working from home often means trusting employees to appropriately manage their time. After all, what are the chances that you won't take the opportunity to cook dinner or do laundry during the hours you'd normally be plugging away at your desk? But rather than pretend you won't ever tend to household items when working from home, be realistic. Map out a plan for when you'll be working and how you'll manage your time, so your boss sees how much thought you've put into it. This way, the boss will be more likely to give it a chance.
3. Start slowly, and work your way up
Maybe your boss is afraid to go from having you available in the office to never seeing you at all. If that's the case, then it pays to suggest a gradual work-from-home arrangement rather than expect to dive into it full time. Ask your boss if you can start by working from home one day a week, and see how that goes. If there are no hiccups, try pushing for twice a week and having your manager evaluate the impact. It may be the case that while a full-time work-from-home arrangement isn't suitable for your position, or doesn't sit well with your manager, a partial work-from-home arrangement is not problematic -- so prepare to be flexible.
4. Make a case for how the company will benefit
There are numerous advantages to working from home on the employee end, but to get your manager's buy-in, you'll need to prove that you're not just looking out for yourself, but the business as well. This means coming up with a list of ways the company will benefit from this sort of arrangement, and not just you.
For example, if you frequently collaborate with an overseas team, you might explain that working from home will allow you to be available at times that better align with that team's schedule. Or, imagine you currently spend 90 minutes a day driving to and from work. If you explain that cutting out that commute will allow for more time at your computer, your boss may be willing to give it a go. The key is to show that you're taking the needs of the business into consideration when proposing this arrangement.
Doing your job from home is a great way to achieve a better work-life balance, so it pays to invest the time needed to make a strong case. Follow these tips, and with any luck, you'll soon be logging on from the comfort of your living room couch.