Work From Home: How to Break the News to Your Boss
The urge to work from home may come for many reasons, sometimes it’s your own personal preferences or a necessity. Nevertheless, there are some things you need to consider when breaking the news to your boss. As the positive outcome cannot be guaranteed, you can really build your way up to an agreement following our next steps.
Planning is key
Set up a meeting
It is a serious issue to discuss that you want to work from home, don’t drop it off over coffee break or sneak it into a weekly recap meeting. Rather than that, talk to your boss and schedule a separate meeting for it. After all your approach is the most important thing that will determine if your boss will seriously consider, if he or she would let you work from home.
Be aware of your reasons
Doesn’t matter if you just had a baby, moved away or just feel more productive if you’re working from home, make sure you have a solid reason for wanting to work from home. Prepare your arguments well for your boss to be able to co-relate.
Consider their point of view
Put yourself in their shoes and try to predict all of the reasons for prospective denial. Making a pros and cons list would be a great idea to get an overview of what is going to change if you start working from home. Take all the cons and come up with reasonable solutions for them to present to your authorities.
Communication is your #1 tool
Don’t be aggressive
Never “attack” your employer with the idea of working from home as it’s an already made decision. Rather refer to it as a proposal or suggestion that will improve your performance. Be assertive and make sure you listen to their concerns and setbacks and present your solutions from the pros and cons list.
Don’t give up in the beginning
Be aware that when you first present your arguments why you should work from home, they might not take it very well if you work for a company that doesn’t have this as a common policy. Don’t get discouraged and encourage them to rethink and lay out their objectives for you and your work and how working from home is going to stand in their way.
If there are issues coming up in the process, like weekly meetings or anything else, make sure you take action to solve them. Show that you have found a perfect way for you to deal with your obligations at home and that this is possible organisation and technology-wise. This will prove that you have seriously thought it through and have considered the way it can be accomplished without harming your productivity or contribution.
Become a skilled negotiator
Look for common ground
If your employer doesn’t seem to agree with your arguments about you working from home, try and come up with a solution that’s good for both of you. For example if they want to engage you in projects that you can’t do from home, ask to come to the office for 1-2 designated project days and spend the rest at home.
Have in mind that if you’re paid by the hour, many employees will not trust that you will spend all the hours on your salary for actual work, since they can’t monitor you. Propose some kind of control opportunity from their side, like tracking programs that report everything that you do during set hours, for example.
Be prepared for the outcome
Unfortunately sometimes there can be reasons for you to be unable to work from home, whether it’s organisational issues or company policy. Even if this happens, have patience, your boss is aware of your need to work from home and will surely consider it and give you any possible chance to do so. Good luck!