Working remotely clearly has its benefits, from schedule-related flexibility to saving money on commuting costs. But there's a downside to remote work, too. Many employees who don't show up to an office regularly find that they miss the face-to-face interaction that comes with sharing a workspace with other humans. In fact, it's not unusual for remote workers to wind up feeling isolated and lonely. And while working in an office certainly opens the door to distractions, many workers face similar productivity issues when they do their jobs from the comfort of home.
But despite the pitfalls of working remotely, the overwhelming majority of folks who have that arrangement wouldn't trade it for the world. In fact, 75% of remote workers say they don't ever plan to return to an office again, but rather, want to telecommute for the rest of their careers, according to an Amerisleep study.
If you're eager to join the ranks of those fortunate folks who get to do their jobs outside the office, it pays to make a case to your manager. Here's how.
1. Point to your track record
If you're new to your job and haven't yet proven yourself, you might have a hard time convincing your boss to let you work remotely. On the other hand, if you're an established employee with a solid track record of meeting deadlines and generally being responsible, then your manager should have no reason to think you might start backtracking if you were to be given the privilege of working outside the office. Therefore, don't be afraid to use your reputation as fuel for your argument.
2. Highlight the benefits
Working remotely might benefit you in certain ways, but it might also help improve your productivity -- and that's something you'll definitely want to bring up to your boss. If the nature of your job is such that it demands quiet -- something that's hard to come by in a bustling office -- then working remotely might make it easier for you to concentrate and avoid errors, and that's a point your manager will have a hard time arguing with.
3. Come up with a communication plan
Many managers are hesitant to agree to remote work arrangements because they worry that a lack of oversight won't just result in poor employee output, but also struggles with communication. To remedy that, come up with a plan as to how you'll stay in touch with your boss and team once granted permission to work remotely. You might suggest a weekly video conference, or offer to submit a daily wrap-up that loops your manager and team in on what you've accomplished.
4. Be flexible yourself
Perhaps your goal is to snag an arrangement where you get to work remotely all the time. But if your boss just doesn't seem comfortable with that, ask for the next best thing: the option to work remotely a few days a week. Doing so will still save you money on commuting and grant you more flexibility, and it's a good compromise on both your part as well as your manager's.
Clearly, working remotely has its perks. If you're still dragging yourself into an office on the regular, have that conversation with your boss and ask for a change. It could end up setting the stage for a better work-life balance and a far more pleasant working experience generally.