How can I convince my boss to let me work remotely?

March 13, 2024

How can I convince my boss to let me work remotely?

It really feels like this should be settled by now, but here’s what to do if your boss is still demanding you come into the office.

BY Kathleen Davis

Welcome to Pressing Questions, Fast Company‘s mini-advice column. Every week, deputy editor Kathleen Davis, host of The New Way We Work podcast, will answer the biggest and most pressing workplace questions.

Q: How can I convince my boss to let me work remotely?

A: Can you believe it’s been four years since many of us started working remotely full time, and yet so many people are still battling with their companies for remote work? It really feels like this should be settled. Even the statistics can’t agree on this one: Some studies find the employees are significantly more productive when working remotely while others find that they are less productive.

But if your boss wants you in the office and you want to work from home then statistics likely wouldn’t convince them anyway. So what will? Just like making the case for why you deserve a raise or a promotion, you should come prepared with examples of how well you’ve worked in the times you have worked remotely.

Show the volume of work and projects you’ve completed and how it compares to the amount of work you can do in the office. This can help illustrate how productive you personally can be. You should also highlight the ways you are still able to collaborate with your colleagues, as that’s often one of the biggest reasons employers give for wanting everyone in the office.

While I told you not to bring up your personal circumstances in your request for a raise, there may be a place for it in the remote work discussion. If coming into the office makes it difficult to get your work done because the commute adds two hours to your day, or your need to live closer to an elderly parent, then those are circumstances that could make your job untenable. And even if you don’t get the green light to be fully remote, hopefully your boss can come to a compromise, like a staggered or hybrid schedule with a few days in-office, if that makes life a little easier.

How can I convince my boss to let me work remotely?

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kathleen Davis is Deputy Editor at FastCompany.com, Supervising Editor of Fast Company podcasts, and Host of The New Way We Work podcast. She frequently covers topics including Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, gender equity, education, economic inequality, remote work, and the future of work. Previously, she has worked as an editor at Entrepreneur.com, WomansDay.com and Popular Photography magazine. 


 

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