For some people, working in an office is the best place to be. For others, home is more manageable.
But if you want to work from home for a day, you might need to ask your boss first. Here are how-to tips on asking your boss to let you work from home one day.
If you don’t ask, you will never know.
How to ask to work from home for a day?
Consider your employer’s needs
Before you make the ask, consider how your employer might feel about the request. He or she may be concerned about security, productivity, and communicating with you on the day of the work-from-home session.
Before trying to win your boss over, think through these concerns and how you will address them.
When asking to work from home for a day, demonstrate that you can keep yourself accountable without being micromanaged.
Try something like this: “I understand that my job requires me to be fully present at the office so I can engage with colleagues on a regular basis.
However, it would really benefit me if I could work from home tomorrow because I have an important meeting in (location) and would like to avoid traffic.
On days when I do need to leave early for an appointment or other reason, I always double-check with my supervisor and make sure any work outstanding is finished ahead of time.”
If your employer asks what could be done instead of working from home—for example, leaving early—have some solutions prepared beforehand so they don’t think you haven’t given it much thought.
Explain the benefits of your boss letting you work from home
Explain to your boss the benefits of letting you work from home.
Tell them how much more efficiently and consistently you can get through your work when you aren’t interrupted by in-person meetings and can focus on a task without being distracted by office chatter.
You might point out that when people feel trusted that they will complete their tasks well, they typically do so.
The evidence is on your side: some studies show that productivity increases by as much as 13% once employees start working from home.
Let them know you are willing to negotiate on how much time to spend in the office and work from home, or even how often.
Share your communication plan, so they know they can track your progress and get in touch if they need to.
Present a persuasive case to show that you are a trustworthy employee
You need to prove that you’re a trustworthy employee. Employers don’t want to let employees work from home unless they can trust that the work will get done.
So before submitting your proposal, think about your reliability.
Have you been late for work?
Do you ever come in with a hangover?
Are there times when your managers have had to double-check your work?
If so, take some time to reflect on why this is happening and what you can do to make sure your managers know they can count on you. If none of these apply, great! You’re well on your way.
Share your communication plan so they know they can track your progress and get in touch if they need to
When you work from home, it’s important to have a communication plan so your manager and colleagues know how to track your progress and get in touch with you if they need to.
It can be as simple as emailing or calling them before the day starts with a list of what you’re working on (and when they can expect an update on your progress).
And whenever possible, give your boss a heads up about any meetings, video calls, or conference calls you plan to attend that day.
If you prefer communicating online rather than over the phone (or vice versa), let your manager know that too!
You may also want to share other tools (like Slack) that will help everyone stay updated on projects throughout the day.
Just make sure those platforms are approved for company use first.
Explain how you would work as effectively in your home
You want to work from home because you can focus on getting your work done without having to deal with other people or interruptions related to getting started there.
You can also be 100% sure that someone doesn’t need something right then that isn’t ready yet or needs something that you have already sent them in the past.
For instance, if they want a calendar shoot they’ll ask you specifically what days are best or where they should take it so nothing looks familiar.
Make sure he knows you’re still doing all of your regular work while you’re at home
If your boss is worried about you being less responsible when working from home, make sure to remind him that you’re still doing all of your regular work while at home.
Don’t miss any meetings or calls with your team or your boss. If you can prove that you’re still working just as hard from home as you are in the office, he’ll be more likely to let you do it again in the future!
Be prepared to handle any objections your boss may have
If you’re the type of person who wants to find a way to work from home, you’ll want to make sure that your boss is receptive.
First and foremost, it’s important that you protect your health by being aware of your workplace’s hours.
If working from home will interfere with regularly scheduled meetings or events (like a morning meeting or mid-day retreat), be prepared to offer this information upfront.
You can also put together a list of things you’ve done before in order for your boss to see what kind of work style you’re used to when working from home.
Of course, if the job title is anything like mine—management consultant—it’s likely that the company will have some concerns about allowing someone without an office on-site to start working remotely.
That said, it’s always easier to manage expectations than it is to change them once they’ve been explicitly stated.
Letting your boss know up-front what services/supplies/support services could be necessary helps ensure everyone’s comfort level with the idea of working remotely. Lastly, let them know how flexible you are—and then live up to those expectations!
Show that you are willing to negotiate on how much time to spend in the office and work from home
It’s important that you explain to your boss what tasks you can and cannot do from home. They’ll likely want some assurance that you’re not just planning on binging on Netflix if they let you work from home.
Share with them a plan for how you will keep them in the loop about your progress throughout the day.
For example, will you send them regular updates over Slack? Will you join a video conference instead of walking over to their desk for an update?
If this is your first time working from home, ask to work from home for just a half-day or one full day instead of jumping into working from home full-time right away.
In addition, offer to be available at the office if they need anything in person.
Working remotely may throw a wrench into certain things like meetings or team-building events, so be sure to think through these issues before asking to work remotely.
Working from home can benefit both employee and employer
It’s good for both employers and employees, and there are ways to make it work for everyone. In fact, here are some specific ways that working from home can benefit both:
- Both employees and employers save money. For example, [company name]’s annual savings from telecommuting was more than $6 million in 2011.
- Employees are happier and more productive; a study by the University of Texas found that remote workers were 13 percent more productive than those who worked in an office setting.
- Employers save on overhead costs, like utilities and rent.
- Employees save on commuting costs (like gas) and have less stress related to commuting.
So what are you waiting for? Just Ask 🚀