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By Caryl Anne Crowne
Working from home is the ideal situation for many Americans. Whether it’s because of a new baby at home, a particular medical issue that makes working from home a necessity, or just general life happen-stances that seem to arise every once in a while, working at home can offer the flexibility and freedom you need. But for many, talking with your boss about working from home can be tough. Here are seven ways to make that conversation easier.
1. Be Reliable
Let’s face it: the number one worry most bosses have with letting their employees work from home is that they’ll spend most of the day binging on Netflix instead of actually working. Destroy this idea by meeting deadlines early, overdelivering on projects, returning every phone call, and other activities that show you’re dedicated to your job. Being reliable will mitigate most boss’s fears about letting you work remotely.
2. Write Down Your Work-At-Home Plan
Before you arrive at your boss’s office, write down exactly how many days you want to telecommute and why. Once you and your boss come to an agreement, get down in writing the schedule and responsibilities, and, if possible, have your boss sign it. The last thing you want is your boss holding you responsible for time and activities that you didn’t agree to and revoking your remote working capabilities.
3. Focus on the Benefits for Your Boss
Will you truly be more productive working from home or is it just something you want? Build your case from the ground up and show by using data, comparisons with others in your field, and your own type of work, as to why it will be a great idea. For example, will working at home relieve a strain on office resources? Show that your working from home will benefit the company first, rather than yourself.
4. Go Slow
Whatever you do, do not bombard your boss with the idea as he’s walking out of the bathroom. Mention it casually, reference other people who do it, have an informal conversation about it, then schedule a time when you can have a proactive discussion. Do not surprise him with the idea or put him on the spot, which might lead to a fast ‘no.’
5. Cover Your Bases
What will you do if something happens at the office and you need to be there? Will you show up? Demonstrate to your boss that the meetings that are important will have your full, in-person attention, and if anything else arises, you’ll be there for that as well. He needs to know that you take your job seriously.
6. Challenge the Status Quo
Does your workplace have a rule in place that forbids working from home? Challenge that by showing how telecommuting can increase efficiency and allow for hiring the best the employees. By doing so, you may not only score some telecommute privileges for yourself, but also for those you work with.
7. Be Persistent
If your boss does not budge after your initial meeting, try to figure out what his hang-up is and try again in the future. Just because he said no today doesn’t mean he’ll say no tomorrow, so address his concern and try again.
Working from home has advantages, both for you and your workplace. If you want to telecommute, you need to demonstrate those benefits to your boss. With a little preparation (and possibly a muffin basket or two), that conversation you’ve been worried about can be the best talk of your career life.
About the Author: Caryl Anne Crowne writes for the CreditShout Blog. She regularly produces content for a variety of blogs that center around cultivating productivity and boosting morale in the workplace.