Top Tips on How to Ask to Work From Home
They say every cloud has a silver lining. One of the positives from the huge black cloud of COVID-19 is that it has shown many businesses the benefits of working from home (WFH).
While many people may miss those water-cooler chats, others have loved the chance to avoid traffic and spend more time with family, among many other reasons.
With many now returning to office life, you may be wishing that you were once again working from home.
That’s where we can help. Learn how to make a work-from-home request and get plenty of tips to persuade your boss that WFH is the best option for both you and the company.
The New Working World
Over the past year, most companies have been forced to close down because of the pandemic.
A solution had to be found to keep companies up and running without risking their employees’ health. This led to many of them opting for the work-from-home option.
Working from home enabled many companies to remain active throughout the pandemic. Both employers and employees saw it as a wise alternative.
Most employers subsequently found that the anticipated drawbacks of WFH, such as a lack of productivity, simply didn’t happen.
Modern technology has made working from home incredibly efficient, which may leave you wondering why you need to go back to the office at all.
Surely in this new working world, you can continue to work from home, at least for the majority of the time?
Why Work From Home?
After the pandemic struck, it became clear to companies that it was possible to continue their normal operations by allowing their employees to work from home.
Employee productivity was noted to be higher, compared to when they worked in the office.
Take a look at some of the key benefits of working from home.
Freedom of Location
Since you are not confined to work from the office, you can work from anywhere. With the widespread availability of Wi-Fi, you can simply pull out a laptop and complete your daily tasks.
If you work in a large town or city having to go to the office every day could mean that you need to rent or buy a home close to the city, where living costs are generally more expensive.
Location independence means that people can live in more rural areas where life is generally cheaper compared to city life.
Not having to travel every day saves a lot of money on transport. The money you would have used to pay for train, bus or taxi rides to work, or to buy gas for your car, is saved.
You also get to eat food from your cupboards or fridge, compared to office lunches, which can be much more expensive.
It can cost hundreds of dollars to maintain a professional wardrobe; money that could be put to better use.
Working from home also saves the employer money. Leasing offices is incredibly expensive and if some of the workforce stay at home, they can shed this cost or, at least, downsize their office and reduce bills.
Better Work-Life Balance
Working from home gives you more control over your schedule. You can dictate what you do and at what time you do it.
A flexible schedule means that you have more time to attend to the needs of your personal life, whether picking your kids up from school or going on family trips.
You can spend more time with your family, building a healthy relationship between you and your children.
Improved Employee Comfort
You can create your custom office however you like. Working from home is also more comfortable, as it is an environment you’re familiar with. This can lead to less stress and increased happiness.
The home workplace can be quieter and more peaceful compared to the constant office noise. This means fewer interruptions in the work environment, leading to higher productivity.
Not everyone has the benefit of a quiet home office, but, for those who do, it can be a much better place to work.
Better and Healthier Work Life
Working from home produces happier employees because they work in an environment that they are comfortable with, which can increase employee loyalty.
Working from home lowers stress, as there are fewer conflicts between employees.
Employees also get time to spend on their hobbies and improve personal relationships. They also have time to exercise and eat healthier food, improving their general well-being.
Added to that, the time previously spent traveling can now be spent with family and friends.
Improved Diversity in the Company
The fact that employees do not have to work from the office means that the company can get new, more suitable employees from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
The recruiting department has an easier job scouting talent because the location of the applicant is no longer an issue. This leads to an increase in employee diversity.
Working from home has recorded a positive impact on the environment. Ever since the pandemic began, carbon levels in the air have dropped significantly. This is because fewer cars were on the road while many countries went into lockdown.
People were not driving or taking buses to work and school. This took place for almost a whole year. Fewer cars on the streets meant fewer carbon emissions, leading to a healthier environment.
While more cars and public transport is now back on the road, as many people are still working from home, the pollution isn't as bad as before.
How to Ask to Work From Home
Most employers believe in the traditional way of working in the official policy and might not be ready to embrace a more versatile work-from-home policy.
They believe that productivity will drop when employees are allowed to work from home, but our tips on working remotely may help with this.
While those thoughts have been challenged over the last few years, many employers want to see their workers return to the office.
Here's how to make a work-from-home request.
Make sure you have a look at your company’s policy to see if there is anything about a possible partial or full-time working-from-home allowance. Before you send an email about working from home, it’s good to know what the rules are.
Check whether there are other departments in your company that have people working from home. You might be surprised to find out how many people have that opportunity.
Gather data on their productivity and on whether the quality of their work has increased or reduced since they started working at home.
It is also important to look up your main competitors in the field. Note any rival companies that have some employees working at home but still producing quality work.
This will be sure to make your employer consider adding the option, as they would not want to lose talent to their rivals or for you to look for the best work-from-home jobs.
Explain the Benefits
Explain to your employer how it will be beneficial to them and the company to let employees work from home. The first reason is cost efficiency because less money would be spent leasing offices.
It would also increase the morale of the workers, as they will be more comfortable and will yield better results.
The fact that employees do not have to sit through hours of traffic in the morning to get to work will also boost their morale.
Also, discuss increased productivity, because employees get to work in an environment that they are comfortable with.
Explain to your employer how it will be less work for them. They will not have to supervise everything you do and will be free to concentrate on other matters.
If you have key performance indicators such as sales targets, you can commit to at least matching your previous levels of productivity and pledge to return to the office should you be less productive.
Come Up With a Good Work Plan
Create a sample schedule for your proposed work times if given the chance to work from home.
Try to impress your manager with increased work hours promising better results. You may just want to ask to work from home one day a week, and if that’s all you want, make sure you are clear about it.
Draft a plan on how you will get your work done. Show your manager how you will get the equipment you require to do your work, or how your existing work equipment will be sufficient to set up your home office.
Be sure to soothe their doubts about communication being a problem. Suggest regular video meetings to keep them updated on your progress. Also talk about being available for physical meetings when required.
They might also have an issue about the security of company data. Talk about the availability of VPNs, chat-encryption software and other data-encryption software that will minimize the risk of company data falling into the wrong hands.
You can also suggest collaborations with your company's IT department to ensure security.
Schedule a Meeting
For you to bring up the topic without being turned down instantly, your timing must be just right.
Raise the topic, for example, after the successful completion of a project, as you are most likely to be on good terms with your employer.
Be sure to do it formally, and not just casually bring it up. In terms of how to ask to work from home, this largely depends on your relationship. If you’re friendly with your boss, you can be a little more casual with your request.
However, it is best to propose a meeting. Write a letter or a formal email and suggest a few suitable dates, then let them pick which day best suits them.
It is advisable to not give away the main agenda of the meeting to avoid being turned down immediately.
Prepare Adequately to Lead the Meeting
Come prepared with all your research documents and work schedule suggestions. Make sure you address the issue cautiously without saying anything that might compromise the chances of your manager declining your offer.
Allow them the choice of whether they will permit you to work full-time, or part-time at home and part-time in the office.
Be prepared to address any issues that they might have about how you will be able to work at home or how you will communicate and work fluidly with the rest of your teammates. Be sure to state how your working from home will benefit the company as a whole, not just yourself.
If the employer is hesitant about granting you permission, suggest a trial run using the proposed work schedule.
Once given the chance, be sure to deliver positive results. Your work should display an overall increase in productivity. If you are already working from home and asking for permission to continue doing the same, show your employer how your productivity has increased during that time.
How to Ask To Work from Home – Example Emails
How do you send an email asking to work from home?
Below is a sample work-from-home request outlining how you can ask your boss for permission in a professional way.
The purpose of writing this email is to request for your permission to work from home. I believe this would have a positive impact on the company, as it would increase my productivity and lower your expenses. I’d appreciate the opportunity to work from home to improve my work-life balance, increase my efficiency, and cut down on my travel costs.
I understand that you might not be comfortable with the idea of home working, but I have developed a detailed plan on how this will be a positive move for both of us. If you are hesitant about my proposal, I’d love to share these thoughts with you.
I am suggesting a two-week trial period, after which you will be able to gauge my performance and make your final decision. If my productivity falls below the standards expected, I'll happily return to the office full-time.
Thanks for considering this request.
Blank Example Email
Here is a skeletal work-from-home request that you can fill in with your own reasons for wanting to work from home, but make sure you follow proper email etiquette.
The purpose of writing this email is to request your permission to work from home. I believe this would have a positive impact on the company because [insert reason]. I’d appreciate the opportunity to work from home to [include reasons].
I understand that you might not be comfortable with the idea of home working [address any concerns your boss may have], but I have developed a detailed plan on how this will be a positive move for both of us. If you are hesitant about my proposal, I’d appreciate the opportunity to share these thoughts with you via a [chat/call/meeting].
I am suggesting a [specified time] trial period, after which you will be able to gauge my performance and make your final decision. If my productivity falls below the standards expected, I’ll happily return to the office full-time.
Thanks for considering this request.
For your employer to grant you permission to work from home, you must approach the topic in a strategic way.
Prepare a compelling plan with facts and suggestions to be able to counter your employer’s worries.
Being able to work from home is a more realistic goal than ever. Unfortunately, some employers are less keen on the idea than others.
You can make your work-from-home dream come true but only with a well-planned work-from-home request.