How Do I Convince My Boss To Let Me Work From Home?
I have been trying to get my boss to let me work from home. It is not common in our company but we recently restructured and my new job has me working with customers that are outside of the local area our company is in. I am a single mom and my son's school schedule recently changed. It is later so the traffic is worse keeping me on the road a long time. To get my work done, I have to work before he gets up and after he goes to bed. So it would be easier and more productive for me work from home. I could get work done in the time it takes me to commute, and I could pick up and drop off my son more easily.
Balancing work is hard for all of us but it is particularly hard for single moms. We got your question before the changes going on now with the corona virus. No doubt the need for people to work from home is going to increase the chance that you can continue to do so, if you prove that it works well. Here are some tips on how to make it work:
- Be Responsive. The common misconception is that working from home means you are getting your nails done, out shopping or doing other non-work things. Prove them wrong by being responsive. Answer the phone and reply to emails in a timely manner. This will require you to set office times at home. Set hours that you are dedicated to your work that are similar to the hours at the office.
- Be Professional. Set a dedicated work space that is out of the way of the day-to-day things in your home. Get dressed. Do as many video conference calls or meeting as needed. When you do use video, make sure you are alert and focused on the camera. Make sure there are no interuptions. It shows that you have a productive, serious workspace and work behavior.
- Be Smart. Set transitions at home so that you don't get sidetracked by home tasks and so that you don't overwork. Studies actually show that remote workers work more hours because they get so involved and uninterupted in tasks and projects. Make sure you don't burn out and that you don't get distracted.
- Be Effective. Get your job done well. Accomplish the things you promised in the time you promise. Refer to your job description, your job goals and your KPIs and make sure you are hitting all of them. Don't take on extra work to prove you are doing more or prove your new working at home routine. Focus on doing the best you can within the job you are asked to do.
- Be Available. You will need to go to the office. Try to combine all of your in-face meetings for the times you have to go into the office. Set social time for those days too. Invite your boss to lunch. Go to coffee or happy hour after work that day if you can. And you will need to reach out by phone or video call to make sure you are keeping up your in-office connections.
For companies or bosses that are still resistant, below are some statics you might use. Additionally, use your power and influence skills to convince your boss over time to let you try it. Or take time to look for a job or company that is more ammenable to the work-life balance you seek. Here a list of 900+ companies that hire and work remotely
- According to Gallup's 2012-2016 “State of the American Workplace” report, 43% of American employees worked remotely at least some of the time.
- Global Workplace Analytics Costs & Benefits survey shows that teleworkers in a number of large companies are actually between 35-40% more productive than their office counterparts.
- According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends Report for 2019, 72% of talent professionals agree that work flexibility will be very important for the future of HR and recruiting. In the past two years alone, there’s also been a 78% increase in LinkedIn job posts advertising flexible work arrangements.
- Remote workers say they're happy in their jobs 29% more than on-site workers. (Owl Labs)
- It’s predicted that by 2027, the majority of the US workforce will be working remotely*.
- Remote hiring companies see a tangible reduction in costs associated with running a fully equipped and staffed office for all workers. 60% of employers questioned in the costs and benefits survey reported cost savings overall as a significant benefit of allowing people to work from home*.
- Every year, U.S. remote workers prevent 3.6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere by not commuting. (Global Workplace Analytics)
- 76% of respondents said they'd be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options. (FlexJobs)
- Companies that allow remote work experience 25% less employee turnover than companies that do not allow remote work. (Owl Labs)
- According to FlexJobs' Annual Survey, 77% of people said having a flexible job would allow them to be healthier (eat better, exercise more, etc.) and 86% said they’d be less stressed. (FlexJobs)