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3 Reasons Your Boss Won’t Let You Work From Home -- and What to Do About Them

By Maurie Backman – Aug 10, 2019 at 8:06AM

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Once you understand why working remotely is a no-go, you can take steps to change your manager's mind.

These days, a growing number of employees are getting more flexibility in their schedules, thanks to the option to work from home. Doing your job from home could not only help improve your work-life balance but also save you money on expenses like commuting.

But what if your manager isn't keen on you working remotely? Here are some of the reasons why your request to work from home could be denied -- and what you can do to change your boss's mind.

1. You don't have the best track record

Employees who are consistently reliable are more likely to be granted permission to work from home than those who frequently show up to the office late, forget about meetings, and miss deadlines. If you're guilty of these or similar behaviors, then your boss might hesitate to let you work from home because with less supervision, you might falter even more.

Woman sitting on floor up against couch, typing on laptop.

IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

The solution? Step up your game at the office for a number of months before requesting to work from home. Prove to your manager that you're working hard to change your ways and that you can, indeed, be counted on to get things done. If your performance improves substantially, your boss might agree to give a remote arrangement a try.

2. Your work is very collaborative in nature

Some people mostly work by themselves, albeit in an office setting, and in these situations, it's easy enough to make the case for working from home. But if your job is extremely collaborative, your boss might say no to working from home for fear that it'll impact your team's output.

To ease your manager's fears, present a plan for overcoming potential communication barriers. For example, you might investigate a reliable remote meeting program that allows you to videoconference with your team several times a week. Or suggest a partial work-from-home setup where you come into the office a couple of days a week for face time.

3. It's never been done at your company

Although working from home is hardly a brand-new concept, it may be a novel idea in the context of your company. If so, your manager may not want to be the person to spearhead it. You can make the case for working from home, however, by putting research in front of your manager showing that remote arrangements tend to work out well.

An estimated 86% of employees are more productive when working remotely, according to job site Remote.co, and two-thirds of managers say that employees who work remotely increase their overall productivity. The more data you're able to present to your boss along these lines, the greater your chances of being granted the leeway to work from home.

Allowing employees to work from home requires a fair amount of faith on a manager's part. If your boss isn't thrilled with the idea of you working from home, figure out why and take steps to address it so that you can enjoy the benefits of doing your job remotely.

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