The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a rapid transition to remote operations for many companies. Years later, some organizations are still fully remote, while others have instituted return-to-office plans and hybrid work environments.
According to a January 2022 Pew Research Center study, 61% of people said they are working from home because they want to. If you’re one of them, you may be wondering how to convince your employer to let you work remotely for the long term – especially if the future of your company’s work-from-home policy is uncertain.
We asked Lori Cole, Certified Career Advisor at iHire, to share her thoughts on how to make this request.
Loving the solitude of working from home, never having to commute, or only needing to take a few steps to your fully stocked kitchen are all common and valid personal reasons for wanting to work remotely, but they won’t help you make a strong case to your manager.
“How should you ask to work from home permanently? Focus on the bottom line. If you want to successfully convince your boss to let you stay remote, make it all about what’s in it for them,” recommended Cole.
Here are some remote work benefits to consider mentioning:
When thinking about how to convince your employer to let you work remotely, take time to gather supporting data. Back up your claims with third-party studies as well as your own data on how your performance has improved since working from home.
“Before you approach your boss, think about what’s happening in your company right now,” said Cole. “Timing is everything with critical work-related conversations like this.”
Is it a particularly busy or stressful time for your manager? Is your company experiencing a major restructuring? Has your performance been less than stellar? Now may not be a good time to ask to work from home permanently.
If working remotely 100% of the time isn’t an option, you could try to meet somewhere in the middle.
“Ask if working from home one or two days a week would be acceptable or mention your willingness to come into the office for important meetings, team building activities, or other events,” advised Cole. “It doesn’t have to be ‘all or nothing.’”
You could also request flexibility in your work hours. For example, if you tend to put in more hours when working from home, you could ask to work fewer hours on the days you come into the office.
Despite a compelling argument, your manager may still deny your request. If working remotely is critical for you, start actively searching for other opportunities. You can narrow your search on [[domain]] with our remote work filter and opt in to receiving work from home jobs in your Job Alert emails.
“Make sure your resume includes remote work skills, too,” Cole added. “Soft skills like communication, organization, and time management are great to highlight along with tech skills and familiarity with tools like Teams, Slack, and Zoom.”