Work-life Balance

How to Ask to Work From Home (With Email Templates and Examples)

If you've been working from home due to coronavirus or want to start, here's how you should approach it.

Abi Tyas TunggalAT

Abi Tyas Tunggal

How to Ask to Work From Home (With Email Templates and Examples)

It's been years since most knowledge workers had to go to the office. Working from home has never been more acceptable. During the coronavirus pandemic, more than 60% of US employees worked from home.

Many companies even found employees as, if not more, productive out of the office. If you're one of the three in five people who don't want to return, know you're not alone.

This article outlines how to ask to work from home and shows the best approach based on your situation. Following the process below maximizes your chances of negotiating a long-term remote work arrangement with even the most skeptical supervisor.

Software developer at desk
Working from home is excellent, but it isn't always easy.

Step 1: Acknowledge your obstacles

Before you ask to work from home, it's essential to understand the obstacles in your way. Like anything, remote working has benefits and challenges.

Understanding the most common obstacles is the first step in mitigating your manager's concerns and maximizing your wellbeing.

Get familiar with the key obstacles below.

Obstacle 1: Working from home isn't the same when everyone is in the office

If your team returns to the office, you'll miss out on things by staying home. Missing impromptu conversations can lead to a fear of missing out and even paranoia if you feel like people make decisions without you.

That's why many remote workers choose to work at remote companies that know how to include people who are working outside the office. Many people make WFH work at regular companies, but you'll need to learn remote work skills to be successful.

Obstacle 2: Collaboration can be difficult

Collaboration is hard enough in the office and can be more difficult when working from home. You need to be comfortable advocating for yourself. At the same time, you need to be patient as your team learns new skills and adopts new habits.

In-office colleagues need to dial you in, loopback after impromptu conversations, and share decisions made. But the burden of making it work will fall on you.

Obstacle 3: Misunderstandings are common

Communication issues are common in a traditional work environment and only compounded by remote work. Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, the co-founders of Basecamp, explain why in REMOTE: Office Not Required:

When the bulk of your communication happens via email and the like, it doesn't take much for bad blood to develop unless everyone is making their best effort to the contrary. Small misunderstandings that could have been nipped in the bud with the wink of an eye or a certain tone of voice can quickly snowball into drama.

Obstacle 4: It can get lonely

Even the most introverted people need some level of social interaction. If you and your partner, friends, or housemates are working from home, you're probably getting a ton of quality time. Lunches, afternoon walks, and coffee runs.

Working in an office is also full of these spontaneous moments that break up your day.

WFH is great when you have a community, but you might spend a lot of time alone if everyone else goes back to the office.

Obstacle 5: Not every position is suited to remote work

You can do most knowledge work from anywhere with an Internet connection, but that doesn't mean remote working is ideal for every position.

Career advancement can be tricky if you're the only one working from home, particularly if your manager doesn't have experience managing a remote team.

Working from home also makes informal information sharing harder. As a remote worker, you won't get help as quickly, and mentorship is harder to come by.

Unfortunately, the desire to work from home doesn't always meld with reality.

Obstacle 7: The burden to stay productive falls on you

Remote workers need to motivate themselves, decide on what to focus on each day, and lose a lot of structure in their day. While commuting has its downsides, it provides structure, like a start and stop to your day.

Unlike in-office employees, you won't have anyone looking over your shoulder. It's up to you to stay productive.

Obstacle 8: It isn't always the right time

If you're new to the role, gunning for a promotion, or early in your career, it might not be the ideal time to negotiate a work-from-home arrangement.

You need to earn the trust of your manager and team to work from home successfully, and that's a lot easier when you already know each other.

It can also be harder to learn tribal knowledge outside of the office. For example, most organizations have unspoken norms, rules of behavior, and ways of doing things that'll be harder to pick up if you're remote.

Obstacle 9: Technology troubles

Technology isn't perfect. The Internet can be flaky, software can have bugs, and things can grind to a halt. Most of us rely on an Internet connection to work, so it's essential to have a plan of what you'll do when things go wrong.

For example, you might head to a local library, spend a few hours at a cafe, or hotspot off your phone if your Internet goes down.

Obstacle 9: Full-time work from home can be a big ask

If face-to-face time is essential to your manager, transitioning from 100% in office to 100% WFH may be too big of an ask.

If you want to work from home permanently, consider starting with a part-time arrangement then ratcheting it up as you earn the trust of your team. You could also pose it as a trial or experiment.

Help Scout website screenshot
Help Scout is a 100% remote company that has benefited immensely from remote work.

Step 2: Prove remote work is possible

You have your reasons for wanting to work from home: avoiding the commute, improving work-life balance, or optimizing your working hours. All these are valid reasons, but you also need to think about it from your manager's and the company's perspective.

Gather evidence showing why working from home is possible. Start by talking to your HR department to understand if you have a remote work policy outlining whether remote work is acceptable and what employees need to do to work remotely.

If you have a policy in place, use it to guide the structure of your proposal.

If you don't, look into how common remote work is in your industry and role by:

Beyond your industry and role, look at competing companies and whether they offer remote work. If they do, you can use this information to convince your manager to match them. Employers need to provide similar benefits to competing companies to attract and retain employees.

If you aren't sure who your competitors are, here are a few good methods to find them:

  • Google: Take your employer's name and append "alternatives" or "vs" and look at what Google suggests. These companies are your competitors.
  • LinkedIn: You can also find related companies on LinkedIn by using the "Pages people also viewed" section on your employer's profile.
  • SimilarWeb: Type in your company's name or website, click on it, then scroll to "Competitors and Similar Sites"
  • Review sites: G2, Gartner, and Product Hunt are excellent sources to find competing companies.
Man writing at desk
Your goal is to make remote work the best option.

Step 3: Make remote work preferable by highlighting the benefits

It's time to learn how working from home can benefit the company. Your goal is to show why working from home is not just possible but also preferable.

The core of your argument must focus on the benefits that are most important to your manager and company. Focus on what is unique to your situation.

Review the benefits below and highlight the most compelling ones.

Increased productivity

Employers who embrace teleworking aren't sacrificing performance.

Research from Stanford University shows people are more productive working from home. A report into the habits of more than 1,000 workers supports Stanford's findings by showing remote employees spend more time taking breaks and devote more time to work.

Reduced costs

Employers who let staff work from home save money.

According to Global Workplace Analytics, employers save an average of $11,000 per year for each employee who works from home part-time. A more extreme example is Google, which saved over a billion dollars in 2021 due to remote work.

Access to global talent

Supporting remote work allows companies to hire the best person even if they don't live within commuting distance of the office.

Attracting talent is the most pressing problem for most companies. Hiring across geographies is one of the simplest ways to remedy it. It can be hard to attract remote employees, but leveraging asynchronous communication means companies can hire from anywhere.

Improved employee engagement and retention

Allowing employees to work from home increases employee satisfaction and retention.

Average employee tenure has been declining since 2014, and the Great Resignation is only accelerating the trend. At the same time, the value of tenured employees has never been higher. Tenured employees understand how to navigate the company culture and have insight into the industry, the market, and competitors.

Better disaster preparedness

A workforce with remote experience can adapt and continue to function even after natural, local, or national emergencies.

Given the global nature of most businesses, the need to respond quickly and cope in the immediate aftermath of a man-made or natural disaster has never been higher.

Bigger employee network

A more extensive network gives employers more resources and inroads into different companies, cultures, and markets.

Having employees spread across the country (and the globe) means a more extensive and diverse employee network.

Reduced carbon footprint

High temperatures and air pollution impact productivity and limit the value of the hours people put in.

Allowing staff to work from home helps businesses reduce their carbon footprint and aids in combating climate change.

Company and job-specific benefits

The benefits above are great, but the meat of your argument should focus on how working from home will benefit your company.

Think of examples of how your work will improve with a flexible arrangement. You can use the questions below as a starting point:

  • How would working from home help me do my job?
  • Will I be more productive at home?
  • Can I focus while working from home?
  • How can I better accommodate my company while at home?
  • Will it allow me to be more productive if I skip my commute?

Specific examples are better than generic platitudes.

If you've done something impressive in the past while working from home, use the STAR method to highlight it. You can also highlight situations from previous roles, as long as they're relevant to your current responsibilities.

Suppose you work as a content marketer. In that case, you could talk about how you write faster when you have fewer distractions:

When I’m working in the office, it takes me an average of one week to write and edit a blog post. During the coronavirus pandemic, I was working from home and publishing a blog post every three days.

If possible, emphasize the quantitative impact of any productivity improvements as well.

Carrying on from the example above:

The impact of me being able to publish more content has been a significant growth in organic traffic to the blog, it’s up 40% year-over-year to more than 100,000 visitors a month.

If you can convince your manager that remote work increases your output, they'll be more likely to approve your request.

Woman at desk writing plan
A remote work plan is a document outlining how WFH could work. 

Step 4: Create a remote work plan

It's time to create a remote work plan. A remote work plan is a document outlining how a work-from-home arrangement could work. It defines your responsibilities, the benefits of remote working, a proposed schedule, and how you plan to mitigate any issues.

Include information about which days you propose working remotely, how you'll communicate with your in-office colleagues, and how you'll share progress with your manager.

Keep it as short as possible while outlining the extent of your research. You need to show your manager you've thought about every aspect. Break it down into sections, use bullet points to make it easier to skim, and proofread the content.

Your manager will skim it, so be sure to bold or highlight critical pieces of information you need them to read.

The goal of your remote work plan is to address the potential issues your boss will bring up ahead of time. Emphasize the burden to make it work is on you, and you're happy to take on any additional responsibilities to make it work.

Make it clear your output will be the same or better when working from home.

Here's what you should include in your remote work plan:


The introduction explains why you're asking from home and summarizes how it'll benefit your manager and company—outline whether you're proposing it as a trial, full-time, or part-time work from home arrangement.

Keep the introduction to a maximum of a few paragraphs. You don't need to go into too much detail, as you'll expand on these points in later sections.

I’d like to work from home on a permanent basis. I know this is a big ask, so I proposed that we start with one day per week and trial it for the next quarter.

I want to work from home because it allows me to monotask and focus on deep work rather than undifferentiated shallow work. Deep work drives the majority of my value to the company, so increasing my ratio of deep to shallow work will increase my impact.

This remote work plan outlines how remote work can benefit the company, my research into the industry, and how I’m planning to ensure I remain productive at home.

Proposed schedule

Outline the days and hours you're planning to work from home. For example, if you plan to start earlier, end later, or work different hours. Even though you won't be in the office, people still need to know when you're available.

You should also provide information about when you won't be accessible due to deep work or other commitments.

As noted above, I propose that I start working from home one day per week. On that day I plan to work the same hours as if I was in the office to ease the transition. However, if that works, I’d like to move to a flexible work schedule where I can start a bit earlier at 8 am and finish at 4 pm.

I plan to turn off my computer around 6 pm each workday to prevent burnout and ensure I can focus when I am at work.

Employer benefits

Now it's time to discuss the benefits outlined above and personalize them based on your context. Don't forget to include any benefits unique to you, your position, or the company.

Remote work offers a range of benefits to employers including healthier employees who take fewer sick days, increased productivity, access to a larger talent pool, and improved employee retention.

These are all great but the biggest benefit is how much faster I can program while at home. The few times I’ve worked remotely, I’ve been able to finish 35% more work per day, as measured by my GitHub contributions.


Provide context on why your manager should consider a work-from-home arrangement for you. Highlight any information about previous remote work experience, positive performance reviews, and any quantifiable achievements you've made while working from home.

This section is also a great place to summarize your research into how common remote work is in your industry and role. If your company has a remote work policy in place, this is also the section where you'd talk about it.

Prior to working here, I was a remote software engineer for five years. While I’ve had nothing but positive performance reviews while working here, I still feel like I’m not working at my full potential while in the office.

Given we already have a remote work policy in place, I’d like to work with you so I can transition out of the office without causing unnecessary disruption to the team.

I’ve had a look at a few of our competitors and they've all begun to offer remote work, so I think it also makes sense for us to start supporting it as it'll help us remain competitve in the talent market. Once we’ve ironed out the issues, it’ll be easier for us to onboard new remote employees.”

Key responsibilities and communication plan

Think about what's important to your manager and team on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. How will you continue to fulfill your responsibilities and communicate your progress?

Chances are that'll be in a similar format to how you currently communicate your progress, but with a heavier emphasis on written communication.

If you're proposing a part-time arrangement, specify the task you'll do when you're at home and in the office.

You'll need to over-communicate your accomplishments in the beginning to earn everyone's trust. Depending on your team and role, this could be through a daily standup, weekly update email, or a real-time dashboard.

Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to see your impact when you're not physically present.

Touch on how you plan to communicate with your colleagues. You'll likely use Slack or another chat app, along with email, video conferencing software, and your mobile number for emergencies.

My primary responsibility is to write code and our current processes support remote work. We have our daily standups over Zoom, fortnightly sprint planning meetings and retrospectives, and Slack for interday communications. I’m also going to start to write a weekly update email that I’ll send to the team.

Given a lot of my day is picking up tickets from Jira, I can’t see how my productivity will be impacted, but I’m willing to work with you to figure out how best to communicate progress.

Everyone already has my mobile number in case I can’t be reached through the regular channels.

Equipment and software needs

Outline where you'll be working and how the environment is conducive to productivity. You could include a photo of your workspace, information about your Internet connection, and your video conferencing setup.

You'll put your manager at ease if you can show them a quiet and safe environment with a stable Internet connection.

If you need any new equipment or software to work from home, outline what you need, the cost, and whether you're willing to pay for it yourself. Be sure to include anything your employer is already paying for that you'll continue to use from home.

It's also a good idea to speak to your IT department to understand potential security concerns and whether you'll be able to access your company's network from home. If you can't access your company's resources from home, work with IT to understand the needed changes.

I’ll continue to use my work laptop from home. I don’t need any additional software or hardware as I already have a great setup. I’ve got a stable Internet connection (600mbs up/down), home office, and great video conferencing setup with a dedicated external microphone and DSLR for my webcam.

I spoke with IT to see if there were any security concerns or problems accessing the company’s network from home. They said as long as I use the VPN and get them to whitelist my IP address ahead of time, there’s nothing to worry about.

Related: Home office upgrades

Potential problems and proposed solutions

This section outlines potential problems that you think your boss will raise and your proposed solutions. See our post on remote work challenges, then outline how you plan to address them.

Remember to include any issues specific to your situation as well.

I know collaboration can be more difficult when working from home, but I’m comfortable advocating for myself and helping others adopt new habits. While the transition will be hard, I think it’ll help our company transition to the new normal and open up our hiring practices to more geographies.

We already effectively work in a remote-friendly environment, we just happen to be sitting next to each other. Jira, GitHub, and Productboard all make it simple to collaborate asynchronously, and Zoom makes it easy to collaborate face-to-face when we need. I’ve also been looking at software like Tuple that makes remote pair programming possible.

Additional resources

Include links to resources or articles used to develop your remote work plan. Providing links to resources shows the extent of your research and allows your boss to read them and come to their own conclusions.


Summarize your argument and outline the next steps you want to take. If your manager doesn't follow up, it's up to you to chase them.

Suggest that you book a time to talk face-to-face to go through the details or any additional issues they want to raise. Be sure to finish strong and thank your manager for considering your request.

Two co-workers in a meeting
Solidify your case by preparing for common objections.

Step 5: Steelman your case and prepare for common objections

Despite the increasing popularity of remote work, many companies and managers are still skeptical. You need to steelman your arguments and prepare for your manager's questions and objections.

Steelmanning is the opposite of straw-manning, where you misrepresent the other person's position so you can easily defeat it. A steel man is about understanding their position so clearly and vividly that the person says, "Thanks, I wish I'd thought of putting it that way."

You need to show you understand your manager's feelings about you working from home and then ease their worries.

Preparing for common objections ensures you'll come across as prepared and enables you to argue your case confidently. If you have a colleague who is already working from home, even occasionally, reach out to them and ask how they approached it.

You know your manager and company better than us, so invest time thinking through objections and how to best frame your answers.

Below are a few common objections you should prepare for, but make sure to consider any complaints unique to your manager or company.

"I'm not ready to commit to remote work."

Repeat back what your boss said to you, using their words. Repeating their words back to them shows you understand their point of view and are actively listening.

Say you understand they're not ready to commit to remote work permanently.

Ask if they're happy to let you work from home on a trial basis a few times a week to see if it'll work before either of you commit to anything.

"Your job isn't suitable for remote work."

This objection should be easy to overcome if you have done your research—outline how standard remote work is in your role and industry.

If applicable, talk about competitors that let their staff work from home. Then dive into how you're planning to communicate your output while remote and share insights from your research to show how remote work improves productivity.

"How will I know you're working?"

Think about how your manager currently tracks your output and what you'd need to change to help them measure progress while you're working from home.

We have our daily standup where I could dial in and we have our weekly one-on-one where I could give you a status update on any open projects.

"What if the team can't reach you?"

Show your manager how your current communication methods already support working from home, outline the hours you plan to work, and how they can contact you in an emergency.

I’ll keep my Slack status updated, set regular working hours so the team knows when they can reach me, and everyone has my mobile number for emergencies.

"If I let you work from home, I'll have to let everyone."

This one can be hard to counter. If your employer lets you work from home, it's unfair not to grant the same privileges to other people. Frame it as a positive.

Think about the benefits of remote work outlined above and share the most relevant ones.

Yes, it’s true if you let me work from home, you might have to let others. But there are a lot of benefits to remote work. You can attract a more diverse workforce, hire the best person for the job, and retain employees who want to move.

"How will you attend team meetings?"

There's a good chance most of your meetings are video conferencing anyway, mainly if you work across time zones.

I can dial into our conference rooms with Zoom. Most of my meetings involve collaborating with colleagues in different offices so I’ll join meetings the same way they do.

I’ve been reading an in-depth guide on remote collaboration that includes best practices, common challenges, and tools to help overcome them.

I’m happy to share it with you if you’re interested.

"How will you stay connected to the team and company?"

Tell your boss you're happy to visit the office regularly.

If you're planning to move elsewhere, tell them you're happy to fly in once a quarter for team-building activities.

"We can't have people work from home. It's a security risk."

If you're not tech-savvy, you'll need to talk to your IT department about what controls you have in place.

However, if you work at a larger company, a lot of the risk will be mitigated by single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication, SaaS apps, and VPNs.

Interview with two people
Raise your desire to WFH in your next one-on-one.

Step 6: Set up a time to talk about your proposal

Once you've finished your work plan and prepared for objections, it's time to set up a time to talk through your proposal with your manager.

It's best to time this discussion when you and your manager's trust battery is full, like after a positive performance review or when you finish an important project.

If now isn't right, start building good WFH habits while in the office.

Develop your asynchronous communication skills, proactively communicate your contributions, and practice writing. These habits will be even more critical when you're out of the office, so it makes sense to get good at them before you have to rely on them!

If now is the right time, here's how we recommend you approach it:

  1. Raise it in your next one-on-one. Tell your manager you want to talk about a work-from-home arrangement and tell them you've been working on a remote work plan that outlines how it could work. If they're a remote work skeptic, this is an excellent time for you to lay the foundations of your case.
  2. After your one-on-one, send your manager an email with your proposal attached. Attach your remote work plan so your manager can pre-read the materials before the meeting. Ask them to read through it and let you know when they're ready to meet and discuss your proposal.
  3. Set up a time to talk face-to-face. After your manager has read your proposal, you'll want to speak to them face-to-face about their concerns. A conversation is best because it lets you answer any additional questions they have in real-time.

It's up to you to decide on the best approach. You know how strong your relationship is with your manager and their preferred communication style. If you're close, have worked together for a while, and work asynchronously, a quick email might be acceptable.

Below are email templates you can use based on your situation.

Email template to ask to work from home

Below is a basic template you can use to craft a personalized email to ask to work from home:

Subject line: Request to work from home [frequency of remote work request]

Dear [manager's name],

As you know, [reason for wanting to work from home]. By working from home, I feel that I could benefit [company name] by [list of specific benefits of working from home].

I've also attached a more detailed remote work plan to this email. It would be great if we could catch up to discuss this in person.

I'm happy to come into the office on an as-needed basis for important meetings or team building events. While I value my time in the office with the team, I find that I can work better from home. I'd still be available by [methods of communication] and have a great home office with a stable Internet connection.

I'm flexible about the days and frequency that would work best for you and the rest of the team.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and whether you'd like to discuss this more face-to-face.

[Your name]

Email template to request to transition from part-time to full-time working from home

This email template is helpful if you want to transition from occasional or part-time to permanent remote work:

Subject line: Request to work from home full-time

Dear [manager's name],

As you know, I have already been working remotely several days a week. During this time, I've found that my focus and productivity have improved dramatically without the in-office distractions.

This had led me to producing far more and completing [insert projects] which has led to [insert improved metrics].

I've attached a more detailed remote work plan to this email.

Based on the attached plan, would it be possible for me to begin working from home full-time? I'm happy to come into the office on as as-needed basis for important meetings or team building events. While I value my time in the office with the team, I find that I can work better from home. I'd still be available by [methods of communication] and have a great home office with a stable Internet connection.

I'm flexible about the days and frequency that would work best for you and the rest of the team.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and whether you'd like to discuss this more face-to-face.

[Your name]

Email template to request to work from home part-time

Use this email template if you want to ask to work remotely a few days per week:

Subject line: Request to work from home part-time

Dear [manager's name],

As you know, I occasionally work from home. The lack of interruptions has improved my productivity and allowed me to contribute more to the company. As an example, I've been able to [list of achievements].

I honestly feel that I work better from home, and I'm able to provide our team with more than I can from the office.

Also, without the daily commute, I've been able to free up more time for work and without the need to pay for my commute the company is saving money too.

Would it be possible for me to work from home two to three days per week? I still value my time in the office, but I feel that I could be just as, if not more productive, from home.

I've attached a more detailed remote work plan to this email.

I'm flexible about the days and frequency that would work best for you and the rest of the team.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and whether you'd like to discuss this more face-to-face.

[Your name]

Email template to request to work from home temporarily

Use this email template if you want to work from home temporarily:

Subject line: Request to work from home temporarily

Dear [manager's name],

I wanted to reach out and ask if I can work from home temporarily. As you know, we have an important deadline coming up and the project will require a lot of deep work to get done.

In some of my previous jobs, I've found that working from home has improved my focus and productivity. I was thinking that we could trial it for the next three weeks but I'm flexible and could always come into the office if something came up. During the days that I'm working from home, I'll be reachable via [communication channels].

I've also attached a more detailed remote work plan to this email.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and whether you'd like to discuss this more face-to-face.

[Your name]

Email template to request to work from home on a trial basis

If your company is new to remote work, we recommend using this email template to ask to work from home on a trial basis:

Subject line: Request to work from home on a trial basis

Dear [manager's name],

As you know, the office can be distracting at times, particularly at the end of the quarter when sales are trying to close their remaining deals. This isn't their fault, but it can make it difficult to focus. Recently, I've found it harder to contribute to the team with all the background noise.

I know that our company doesn't have a remote work policy yet, but would it be possible for me to experiment with working from home until the quarter ends? I think that working from my home office would allow me to focus on deep work and improve my output. I would, of course, be able to come into the office if anything came up or available via email and phone if needed.

I've attached a more detailed remote work plan to this email. I'm flexible about the days and frequency that would work best for you and the rest of the team. And I'm more than happy to document any findings that can be used to shape a remote work policy in the future.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and whether you'd like to discuss this more face-to-face.

[Your name]

Email template to request to work from home for health reasons

If you have new or existing health issues that make it hard to get to the office, use this email template to state your case:

Subject line: Request to work from home for health reasons

Dear [manager's name],

Due to personal health issues, I'd like the chance to work from home. As you know, I have [health issue] and lately I have been experiencing a load of negative symptoms.

By working from home, it would give me the flexibility to rest and attend appointments without interrupting my colleagues. I know I'll be able to maintain or even improve my level of productivity.

Even though I'd prefer to primarily work remotely, I'm happy to come into the office on as as-needed basis for important meetings or team building events. I have a great home office with a stable Internet connection so dialing in won't be a problem.

I would even appreciate a few days a week at home if that works best for you and the rest of the team. I've also attached a more detailed remote work plan that outlines my proposal in more detail.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and whether you'd like to discuss this more face-to-face

[Your name]

Email template to request to work from home to care for a loved one

If you need to care for a loved one and it's making it harder to go into the office, use this email template:

Subject line: Request to work from home to care for a family member

Dear [manager's name]

As you know, my [family member] has been struggling with [condition] for almost [timeframe]. The situation has worsened and they have moved in with us as of a few months ago, it's clear to me that they need more assistance day-to-day.

I'd like to request the chance to work from home so I can help take care of them. Just being home during the day means I can ensure they are safe and cared for. I'm confident that I could keep up with my current output working remotely, and I'd be available via phone, email, or Slack as needed.

If something were to come up and I was needed in the office, my partner could take over for the day, so I'm flexible.

I've also attached a more detailed remote work plan that outlines this in more detail

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and whether you'd like to discuss this more face-to-face.

[Your name]
Interview with two people
A face-to-face discussion is the best way to get your manager to approve your WFH request.

Step 7: Discuss your proposal with your manager

Start by reiterating why you want to work remotely, how it'll benefit the company and any critical information related to the industry, your role, or competitors.

Then briefly highlight your critical contributions to the company. Remember to be as concrete as possible. Your goal is to show why you'll contribute while working independently from home.

After that - make your request and make it specific. Make sure you are clear on whether you'd like to transition to remote work temporarily or on a part-time or permanent basis. Even if you don't get what you want, stating it first helps anchor the conversation.

All of this should be easy for you because you have already outlined each point in your remote work plan.

As your boss brings up their concerns (which they will and which you should have preempted), say something like:

I'm glad you brought this up. I've actually done a lot of research into this area and how other companies handle remote work.

In the [section of your remote work plan] section of my proposal, I've outlined how I plan to address this. If there is anything missing or you disagree with my conclusions, please let me know and I'm happy to address it.

Don't let pushback dissuade you. You're helping the organization adapt to the new norms of work, improving the company culture, and helping them attract and retain talent.

Interview with two people
You might not get an immediate yes, be flexible. 

Step 8: Frame it as an experiment

Chances are you won't get an immediate yes. Emphasize you're happy to treat it as an experiment and return to the office permanently if they're not satisfied with your performance.

Suggest a trial period, then agree on goals and key deliverables. Perhaps you'll work from home every Friday for the next quarter and then reassess.

In other cases, you may need to wait for an answer. Keep in mind your boss may need to ask their boss for permission.

Be patient.

Even if your manager outright rejects your request, it doesn't mean you can't ask again in the future. It might be a matter of timing.

The odds are increasingly in your favor. Remote work was growing in popularity before the pandemic and has accelerated since. The expected growth rate of full-time remote work has more than doubled to 65%.

Even if your organization isn't ready for remote work today, they'll probably offer it in the future.

Co-workers agreeing on a plan
Trust is essential for remote work.

Step 9: Build trust as you transition to remote work

Once your manager approves your request, it's vital to demonstrate you understand that working from home is a privilege.

The most important thing you can do is build trust with your manager and team during the early days of your transition. Building trust is crucial if you're pioneering work from home at your company.

Do your best to show your manager that remote work works.

Build trust by:

  • Over-communicating: It's better to say too much than too little initially. Share your schedule, plans, metrics, and what you work on each day. Think about what people want to know and provide it before they ask. Learn how to work asynchronously.
  • Being punctual: People turn up to meetings late even when working from the office. Often there are valid reasons: they're engrossed in a task, muted their notifications, or were away from the keyboard. If you want to work from home permanently, be punctual. Prove to your manager and team that you value their time.
  • Updating your status: When you're out of the office, it's harder for people to know when you're working. If your team uses Slack or another messaging app, take advantage of their status feature and update it frequently. You can even automatically update your Slack status.
  • Keeping a public calendar: A public calendar reduces the scheduling burden on your in-office colleagues as people can see when you're available.
  • Setting up your home office properly: Yes, you could work from the couch, but you probably shouldn't. Set up an environment conducive to productivity to ensure you present well over video. Remove distractions and invest in a good webcam, microphone, and desk.
  • Writing documentation: Consider documenting the tools and processes you use to stay productive while working remotely and share them with the broader team. Good documentation is essential as it can act as the single source of truth and minimize people asking the same questions.
  • Adapting and forgiving: There will be teething issues when you start working from home. Video conferencing software might not work, your Internet connection might be flakier than anticipated, and people will forget to invite you to meetings. Be forgiving and assume good intentions. It's harder to gauge a person's mood over text, and it's easy to misinterpret a slow response or a short reply as more harmful than it is. Tell the person and set up a conversation if you feel like it's a real issue. Chances are they're just busy.
  • Promoting transparency: Share what you're working on, what's working and what's not, and put up your hand if you need help with something.
  • Defaulting to action: Asking for permission takes time, mainly if you're working different hours from your team. Don't wait for approval if you have a good idea!
Himalayas website screenshot

Step 10: If all else fails, look for a remote job

Himalayas is the best place for remote job seekers to find a job.

We provide a job search experience with great UX focused on speed and efficiency. There are no third-party recruiters, so you'll speak directly to hiring managers.

Our remote company profiles make finding companies whose culture and mission match your values simple. You can even search by tech stack and employee benefits to find companies that meet your needs.

Find a remote job on Himalayas today.

We've also put together a comprehensive guide on finding a remote job.

Find your dream job

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Himalayas profile for an example user named Frankie Sullivan

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