Thanks to innovations in technology in recent years, the work world is changing at breakneck speed—and many of these changes are affecting how we perform our jobs on a daily basis. One big change involves where we do our jobs—everything from new teleconferencing apps like GoToMeeting to advances in mobile computing have made it possible for many of us to successfully do our jobs from anywhere, including work from home.
Some progressively minded companies have really embraced this option, and are allowing their employees more flexible schedules that include a work from home option. This can be a real perk for current and prospective employees, and it can also benefit the companies as well—lost time spent getting ready for work and commuting often gets regained and poured into being more productive and employees who are empowered with a work from home option are often more enthusiastic and motivated on the job.
Other companies, for one reason or another, have been more reluctant to allow their employees a work from home option—with the unfortunate result being that both employers and employees fail to benefit from the opportunity.
Do you work for a company that hasn’t yet embraced working from home? If so, there may be a way to convince the powers-that-be to consider making a change. What’s the secret to getting your boss to be open to this possibility? It’s no secret—in fact, it’s a well-known strategy and it’s one that’s been proven effective whenever the goal is to convince someone of the merits of a new business idea: you use clear and convincing logic, backed up by substantiated evidence, to make a compelling case. Be sure not to make the primary focus of the request about how this benefits you, but instead how it could potentially benefit the entire company.
When you decide to talk to your boss in an attempt to convince them to let you work from home, choose your time and method of communication wisely.
- Is your boss in a better mood at the beginning of the week on a Monday or at the end of the week on a Friday? Is the beginning of the day or the end of the day the best time frame?
- Does your boss prefer face-to-face discussions or are they more open and responsive to emails? Stating your case via email may be a smart option, as having your points laid out in writing will allow them to be reviewed and re-reviewed by your boss as needed as they work towards making a decision.
The following is a sample email that you can use as a guide to help you prepare for your conversation with your boss:
Hi [Boss’s name],
I’ve been thinking about ways to help boost efficiency at work and I came across this interesting data about the benefits of allowing employees to work from home: http://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/resources/costs-benefits.
I know you’re busy, so I pulled out some of the key points:
- It improves overall employee satisfaction
- It helps reduce employee attrition and turnover
- It reduces unscheduled employee absences
- It can help increase employee motivation and productivity
- It can help reduce office/administrative costs
- It’s a good perk when trying to attract new talent
Perhaps a pilot program might be a good way to test this—I’d be more than willing to take part. If it goes well, we can look at a wider rollout? I’m happy to discuss this further, thank you for taking the time to consider this.
This sample email is short, sweet, and direct, and provides compelling information to help convince your boss to at least consider trying this out. It’s focused on ways to help the company overall (not just you), which will make you look good. And it’s polite and professional, which are definitely helpful when you’re trying to be convincing at work. But of course, you know your boss best, so feel free to adapt this email accordingly to your boss and situation. Hopefully, with a little effort and luck, you can convince your boss to let you try working from home.
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