We’ve all heard it. Working from home can be a mutually beneficial arrangement for you and your organization, increasing overall productivity. Our work quality skyrockets. But despite all the research, many companies are still cautious to go “all in” on this new phenomenon. Here’s our system for getting even the most old school organization on board.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
This seems obvious, but now you can’t say we didn’t warn you. Simply shooting your boss an email requesting a work-from-home day after a long and busy week is just going to look like you’re asking for a free day off. Like any work project, you’ll need to elaborate and prove the value. Providing your boss with statistics on how and why adopting a remote work arrangement policy can help the company reduce costs and retain talented employees will catch her attention, no doubt. Don’t pitch without proof.
Connect the opportunity to work from home to one of your performance goals for the year.
PROVIDE A VISUAL OF YOUR HOME WORK SPACE
Hopefully you’re well on your way into adulthood and have an organized enough home situation to support a productive work-from-home day. If you’re going to go for it, you need a designated work space. We’re not saying that you can’t spend some of your day working from the couch, but that’s not what you show your boss. Instead, give her a glimpse of your workspace (hint: include your vision board) to prove to her that you’re not only serious about making this work, you’re already set up for it to work.
CONNECT YOUR REASONING TO YOUR PERFORMANCE GOALS
Now that you’ve set the stage for why it’s a beneficial, strategic decision, and given your boss an actual visual of what your workday will look like, connect the opportunity to work from home to one of your performance goals for the year. It’s not as strange as it sounds. Perhaps one of your company goals is to establish a company-wide employee recognition program. Working from home could be one of many employee reward options. Or maybe a performance goal of yours is to analyze turnover and provide recommendations based on your findings to increase employee retention. Work-from-home arrangements have been proven to increase employee morale, which is directly related to employee retention. Or, more likely, you’ve been tasked with the infamous, nebulous task of improving efficiencies and cutting costs. Remote work opportunities reduce a number of costs including desks, computers, phones, etc.
Whatever you’ve been tasked with for the coming year, be sure to establish a connection between this trial run and your performance goals. Make it about bettering the company, not you.
PROPOSE A DAY THAT DOESN’T FOLLOW OR PROCEED A WEEKEND (OR HOLIDAY)
This is like taking a sick day after the company’s holiday party or the Fourth of July. It’s just not appropriate. By requesting a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday as a pilot day, your boss knows that you’re not trying to get one more day out of a weekend trip, or a day of rest after you over-did it at the company’s holiday party. By choosing days in between Monday and Friday, you are also giving her the peace of mind that you will be there on either side of your work-from-home day to pick up the pieces, should it go awry.
By requesting a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday as a pilot day, your boss knows that you’re not trying to get one more day out of a weekend trip.
OFFER TO TAKE PTO IF YOUR MANAGER IS UNHAPPY WITH HOW YOUR WFH DAY WENT
This may be one of the very best points you make. By giving your boss the freedom to apply PTO at her leisure, you put the authority back in her hands for this initiative. This is the key to her not feeling like she’s losing any more control than she might already feel like she is. It also underscores the fact that you’re confident in your ability to do a stellar job, even remotely.
Use these steps to pitch your chance for a work-from-home day and you might soon find yourself working the hours that suit you, walking your dog on your lunch break, or spending the day in your yoga pants. The best.
What attracts/ detracts you to the idea of working from home? Any barriers I can help address?
*This post originally appeared on Career Contessa.