Getty/Lean In/Tara Moore
Unless everyone in your office is doing it, it may be challenging to convince your boss to allow you to work from home.
Before you do anything else, you'll need to think about all the ways in which working out of your home will be different from working in the company office, says entrepreneur Drew Hendricks in a recent LinkedIn post.
"Your freedom will be nearly unlimited, your face time with coworkers will reduce significantly (if not altogether), and yet, regular communication with them will become absolutely crucial to your ability to perform well in a telecommute position," he says. "Because telecommuting will change many aspects of your job, before hinting at your desire to start working from home, ask yourself if telecommuting is even feasible."
If you determine that working from home will benefit you, your boss, and your employer, Hendricks suggests you follow these four steps when requesting your work-from-home arrangement:
1. Explain how your employer will benefit.
Address how your proposed telecommuting arrangement could potentially solve problems you and your company are facing.
"Maybe your job requires a lot of creativity, and your performance is hurting due to constant interruptions in the office," Hendricks says. Explain that working from home could reduce those distractions, which would allow you to work better and make a bigger contribution to the company.
"Your boss will find it easier to let you work from home if you can explain specific ways this will actually help the company achieve its goals."
2. Make the case for yourself.
Once you've narrowed down your best reasons for transitioning to a work-from-home arrangement, Hendricks recommends you develop a list of facts and stats "to prove that working from home will truly deliver the benefits you expect," he says. "Try to find relevant studies that relate to your given reason, and find studies that prove your specific duties can be performed outside of the office."
Presenting valid arguments and statistics allows you to back up your request to work from home and answer challenging questions before they even arise, he says.
3. Prepare for challenging questions.
Even if you present a valid, thorough argument, your boss will most likely still have questions for you.
Make sure you are mentally prepared for the challenge — and don't take these questions as a sign of failure. "Instead, accept them as additional opportunities to prove your case," Hendricks says. "If your boss asks a question that you can't answer on the spot, be ready to admit it and promise to return later with a concrete answer."
4. Suggest a trial run.
"Your job may be perfect for telecommuting and your credibility may be sparkling, but your boss will still be taking a risk if you start working from home," Hendricks explains. Reassure him that you understand his concerns, and that you're willing to prove your claims by working from home on a temporary trial run. "Your boss will find it more difficult to say no."
Click here to read the full LinkedIn post.
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