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 Tunggal

04 Oct 2021 • 26 min read

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

In this article

Asking your boss if you can work from home can be daunting. But it's never been more possible. More and more companies are open to remote work and due to the pandemic, you've likely proven you can work productively from home.

Working from home offers benefits to employees and employers and telecommuting is become more common. A survey from U.S.-based Enterprise Technology Research showed the percentage of workers permanently working remotely is set to double in 2021.

Prior to COVID-19, just 14% of employees in the United States worked from home five days a week. During the coronavirus pandemic that number swelled to more than 60%.

If you're reading this, you're likely one of the newly remote workers who likes the change and no, you're not alone. Three in five don’t want to return to the office, according to a Gallup survey.

The correct approach will depending on how accepted remote work is at your company. If your colleagues are already working from home occasionally, chances are your manager won't be surprised when employees make permanent remote requests and will likely require a loss less convincing.

If remote work is a new concept at work, you'll need to invest more time in presenting your case.

Either way, don't worry. If you follow the tips outlined in this article, there's a good chance you'll be able to negotiate a long term remote work arrangement.

Even if you're unable to work from home at your current company, there are so many companies who want to attract remote workers.

In this article, you'll learn about how to best prepare to ask to work from home. We've even provided a series of email templates and a guide to creating your own remote plan that you can use as guides. If you put everything you read to practice, there's a good chance you'll be able to persuade even the most skeptical manager to let you work remotely.

Software developer at desk

Make sure you want to work from home

Before asking to work from home, spend time thinking through the pros and cons of remote work. You'll also want to identify any issues you may need to address, both for your own productivity and to ease your manager's concerns.

If your team is returning to the office, it's not a small ask to be exempt. That's not to say you shouldn't ask, just make sure it's what you really want.

Here are a few things you should think through:

  1. Working from home isn't the same when everyone else is in the office: The past year has been unique. The COVID pandemic has forced everyone to work in distributed teams that are 100% remote. But when you're the only one (or part of a handful of remote employees), it's different. There are plenty of remote companies who make it work, just be prepared to be in the minority.
  2. Remote workers can be a burden on in-office colleagues: If you're working from home, your in-office colleagues need to remember to dial you in. They also need to loop you into any impromptu conversations or decisions they've made in the office. The burden will also fall on you to make sure this happens. If you're not comfortable advocating for yourself and getting others to adopt new habits, a remote work arrangement might not be for you. You can learn more about the skills needed for remote work here.
  3. What you're experiencing now might not be the norm: If you and your partner are working from home together, you're probably spending a ton of quality time together over lunch, afternoon walks, and coffee runs. But if your partner returns to the office, you'll be home alone.
  4. Your position might not be suited for remote work: Most roles can be done from anywhere with an Internet connection but not every position thrives from home. Do you do mostly solo work? Or do you interact with people from different departments daily? Unfortunately, your desire to work from home and the practicality of the arrangement may not always match.
  5. It might not be the right time: If you're new to the job, gunning for a promotion, or need to be in the office frequently, it might not be the best time to try to work from home.
Help Scout website screenshot
Help Scout is a 100% remote company that has benefited immensely from remote work

Research and gather supporting evidence

If you've decided that working from home is right for you, there are likely a bunch of reasons: avoiding the daily commute, better work-life balance, or more control over your working hours.

It's okay that most reasons are personal, but you also need to think about your boss's and the company's perspectives. You need to make the case that working remotely benefits the company.

That's the only way to convince your manager to approve your remote work request.

Now it's time to start researching and gathering evidence to support your case for a remote work arrangement. You'll want to look into how common remote work is in your industry, your role, and whether your company has a remote work policy in place. This is something you can ask your HR department.

If remote work is already part of your company's culture, it's going to be a lot easier to convince your boss.

Use online resources Himalayas to research remote companies in your industry. Consider finding remote roles that are similar to your current role to prove to your manager that remote work is possible. You might be surprised when you see how popular remote work is for software engineering, sales, product, marketing, and design.

You'll also want to research whether your organization's competitors offer permanent remote work. After all, your manager will want to offer similar privileges to avoid losing existing and to attract new employees.

Man writing at desk

Emphasize the benefits to your organization

Now that you've got evidence that remote work is possible, you want to emphasize the benefits that a work from home arrangement will give to your employer.

This could include potential cost savings, improved employee morale, and increased productivity. You'll also need to assure your boss that the arrangement will benefit the wider team, not just you.

There's no need to lie about the benefits that you'll gain, just remember to look at it from your manager's perspective too.

This is even more important if you work at a company where teleworking isn't common or where it is looked down on. In this situation, you'll need to invest in educating your boss about the benefits of remote work.

The most common benefits for employers are:

  1. Increased employee productivity: There is a myth that remote workers are lazy. Research from Stanford University has shown they are more productive than in-office employees. A recent report from Airtasker that looked at the habits of 1,004 workers supports this too. While remote employees spent more time taking breaks throughout the workday, they also devote more time to work.
  2. Lower costs: According to Global Workplace Analytics, employers who allow employees to work from home part-time save an average of $11,000 per year per employee. An extreme example of this is Google who will likely save over a billion dollars due to employees working from home.
  3. Access to a bigger talent pool: While it's not always easy to attract remote employees, the best person for the job might not live within commuting distance of the office. Remote work policies give employers access to a far larger talent pool than they would otherwise have. If your company understands and values asynchronous communication, it can open up the entire world as possible employees.
  4. Increased employee satisfaction and better employee retention: Retaining employees is only getting harder. At the same time, the value of having employees stick around has never been higher. Giving employees the option to work from home can dramatically increase employee satisfaction, leading to better employee retention.
  5. Better disaster preparedness: A permanent remote workforce means work can continue even if there is a natural disaster, local or national emergency, or a global pandemic!
  6. Better networked employees: The flexibility that remote work provides gives employees more opportunity to attend networking events that can be hard to juggle with a traditional 9 to 5 schedule.
  7. Reduced carbon footprint: If all employees in the U.S. who held remote-compatible jobs (about 50% of the workforce) and wanted to work remotely (about 79% of the workforce) did, greenhouse gases could be reduced by 54 million tons.

Don't stop at generic statistics and benefits. Consider coming up with concrete examples of how your work will improve with a flexible arrangement. Use the questions below as a starting point:

  • How would remote work help me do my job better?
  • Will I be more productive?
  • Will I be able to focus better while working from home?
  • Will I be able to work hours that better accommodate my company from home?
  • If I can skip my commute, would I start work earlier?

While the above benefits are compelling, it's even more compelling it you can show that you are more productive working from home. For example, if you work in the office it might take you two days to write and edit a blog post but since you've been working from home, it only takes you one day.

It's one thing to tell your manager you work better with fewer distractions and a more flexible schedule. It's another if you provide good examples and data to back up the claim.

Below is an example from a content marketer who is making a work from home request:

Metric In-office performance Work from home performance
Average articles per week 2 5
Average number of revisions 3 1
Average hours spent promoting articles 0 6
Average growth in traffic 3% 12%

Emphasizing these benefits will help you build a strong business case that addresses your manager's concerns. If you can help them see how remote work options can improve the output of their team, they're much more likely to approve your remote work request.

Two co-workers in a meeting

Anticipate your manager's questions

Before you ask to work from home, try to anticipate the questions your manager will ask and where they'll potentially push back then come up with solutions or controls ahead of time. There's nothing worse than getting taken by surprise in the middle of an important conversation.

If other employees are already working from home, even occasionally, it's worth reaching out to get advice on how they approached it.

Here are some common objections to remote work:

  • I don't feel ready to make a decision on remote work: Tell your boss you understand their concern and are happy to do a trial period to see if it will work before anyone commits to anything.
  • I understand that some jobs are suited to remote work but I feel like your role is better suited for the office: Outline how common remote work is for your role and that remote work is the new norm. Tell them how they'll be able to track your contribution and how remote work may even improve your productivity.
  • How can I know you are working: This is a valid question and one you will need to address. "We have a daily standup where we communicate what we are planning to do today and what we did yesterday which will keep me accountable to you and the team."
  • What if the team needs you and you're not available: Outline the hours you'll be working and the communication methods your team can use to reach you. In urgent situations, they can always call you on your phone during work hours. "I'll keep my Slack status up to date and set regular working hours so the team knows the best time to reach me. (Be sure to think through what that schedule will be as that'll likely be the next question)"
  • If I let you work from home, I have to let everyone work remotely: This could be true. Try to frame it as a benefit to you and the company. "It could be something that you can offer more widely as a perk to attract talent and to retain existing employees. Of course, you'll still need to decide on an individual basis if someone can work remotely."
  • How will you attend team meetings?: Outline how you already use Zoom to communicate with colleagues in other offices and across time zones. "We already have a premium Zoom subscription and use it to collaborate with colleagues in different offices and across time zones so I'll join meetings like our international colleagues. And I've read an in-depth guide on remote collaboration that includes best practices, common challenges, and tools to help overcome them."
  • How will you stay connected to the team and company?: Tell your boss that you're happy to come into the office as needed and for team building events.
  • We can't have people working from home, it's a security risk: "I've read through a bunch of working from home security tips that I'm happy to run you through."

These prompts are only a starting point. You know your manager and company better than we do, so it's up to you to think through the best way to frame things. Think through what is most important to the company and use that language when making your request.

Woman at desk writing plan

Put it all together in a remote work plan

Now it's time to create a remote work plan. You'll want to create a document that outlines exactly how your remote work arrangement could work.

Your remote work plan should be modeled as a business proposal. Think of your employer as a client you are trying to convince. Your plan should sell the idea of you working from home.

Go into detail about how the arrangement will work. Don't be afraid to go into the nuts and bolts to show how much research you've put into your proposal. Just make sure to use section headers and bullet points to make it easy to read and digest. Consider bolding or highlighting key information that is important to your argument.

You'll want to include information about which days you'll be working remotely, how you'll communicate with your in-office colleagues and how your manager can keep track of your progress. Your goal is to address the potential issues that working from home presents to your boss and your team.

Make it clear that you understand that the burden is on you to make it work and that you're happy to take on any additional work that will be required to make the arrangement work.

The best possible outcome it to make it obvious that you'll work just as well, if not better, when you are working from home. You want to make it as easy as possible for your manager to say yes.

Remote work plan template

These are the elements of a successful remote work plan:

  • Introduction: Explain what you want and why it will benefit the company. If you are proposing a trial or part-time work from home arrangement, state that as well. Don't go into too much detail yet, you'll have room to expand on your points in later sections. For example: "I'm proposing that I work from home permanently so I can focus on deep work rather than shallow work. Below you'll find the details of my proposal which will ensure I meet or exceed my current work responsibilities."
  • The benefits to your employer: For example: "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."
  • Background: State any favorable information such as previous remote work experience, performance reviews, successful projects, and most importantly any metrics that show how you work better from home. This is a good place to include information about your industry, role, and any existing remote work policies your organization has.
  • Your key responsibilities and how you'll accomplish them from home: What are your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks and how will each of them be done from home? If you are proposing a part-time arrangement, specify the tasks that will be done at home and which will be done in the office.
  • Proposed remote work schedule: If you're planning to start earlier, end the day later, or work different hours, it's important to provide this information in the proposal. Even though you won't be in the office, your colleagues still need to know when you're available. Also provide information about when you'll be in the office. If remote work is new to your organization, it's best to frame it as a trial first.
  • Your home office setup: Provide information about where you'll be working and how it is conducive to remote work. This might include an image of your home office or a screenshot of your Internet speed. It's really important to have fast and reliable Internet if you are planning to work from home.
  • Equipment or software needs: If you need any additional equipment or software to work from home, list them out and then outline whether or not you are willing to cover the costs. It's also a good idea to do some research into potential security concerns that your IT department might have. Check whether you can log into your company's network from home. If not, outline what you will need to make it available. Your IT department may be able to help if remote work is common at your organization, otherwise you may need to do your own research.
  • Costs/logistics: Be sure to outline any services that your employer already pays for that you will continue to use at home. If you plan to come into the office part-time, outline where you will work when you're in the office and whether you will share that space with other employees.
  • Communication plan: This section should outline how you plan to communicate with your in-office colleagues. This will likely include Slack or another team chat app, along with email, and your mobile in case of emergencies. You'll also want to outline that you have a good environment that is usable when you need to present in remote meetings.
  • How your manager and team can measure your output: Propose a way for your manager and your team to assess your performance while working from home. This could be in the same form as the metrics you currently use to gauge performance. Keep in mind, you will probably need to over-communicate your accomplishments in the beginning to put everyone's concerns to rest. Depending on how your team works, this could be a daily standup, weekly email with an update on what you have accomplished, or even a real-time dashboard that provides metrics.
  • Potential problems and solutions: If you have preempted your boss's concerns, you'll want to provide solutions to them in this section. Jot down a list of potential remote work challenges and how you plan to address them.
  • Next steps: Outline the next steps that your manager should take after reviewing your proposal. If they don't follow up, it's up to you to chase them up. Suggest a time for an in-person discussion to go through the details or any additional issues they want to raise. Make sure to thank your manager for considering your request too.
Interview with two people

Time your request carefully

Now that you've put together your remote work plan, it can be tempting to ask right away. Don't make that mistake.

You need to ensure that it's the right time to ask. Your request to work from home will only be successful if your boss trusts you and already values your contributions.

If your company hasn't made an official decision about their work from home policy and you haven't returned to the office, you might not even have to ask directly. Try to find out whether working from home is the new norm.

That's not to say you shouldn't start preparing, you should already have your remote work plan together at this point. Just don't rush it.

Stack the deck in your favor and time your request following a big work accomplishment or when your boss is particularly impressed by your work.

Lay the groundwork by proactively measuring and communicating your contributions on a regular basis. Not only will this be important when you are working from home, it also shows your boss that you understand how to communicate your value as an employee which is a valuable skill regardless of where you work.

Interview with two people

How to make your request to work from home

You've identified that now is the right time to ask to work from home. While it's tempting to fire off an email, it can be a good idea to ask in-person. If you have a regular one-on-one with your manager, bring your remote work plan along and talk through it. If you don't, consider setting up a meeting.

Depending on your manager's personality, you may want to send them an email ahead of time to help them prepare for the conversation. However, if your boss is skeptical of remote work, it may be better to hold off. You don't want them to reject it outright before properly reviewing your work.

At the end of the day, it's up to you to decide what the best approach is based on your relationship with your manager. If you are close and have been working together from a long time then a quick email might be fine.

As a rule of thumb, it's best to have a conversation about it as you'll be able to answer any additional questions they have and make a strong case for working remotely.

Whatever you decide, we've provided a few different email templates you can use as part of your request.

Email template to ask to work from home

This is a basic template you can use to craft your own 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 useful 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

Be prepared to lead the discussion

If you've followed the advice outlined above, you should now have a face-to-face scheduled to discuss your proposal with your manager. Be prepared to lead the discussion.

Start the meeting by reiterating why you want to work remotely, how it will benefit the organization, and how it's increasingly common across the company (if applicable). Tie in any industry, role, or competitor-related information too.

Then briefly highlight your key accomplishments and how well you manage your time. These concrete examples give your boss proof that you'll be able to handle the additional responsibility of working independently from home.

Once you've done that, make your request and make it specific. This should be easy to do as you've already thought through it as part of developing your remote work plan. Make sure that 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 exactly what you want, stating it first will help anchor the conversation.

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. [Pull out your remote work plan here].

If you read [section of your remote work plan], 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."

Despite the increasing popularity of remote work, many companies and managers are still skeptical. Your boss will have reservations and your coworkers may even be resentful.

This shouldn't dissuade you, in fact, you could be helping the organization adapt to the new norms, improving the company's culture, and helping them improve their ability to attract and retain talent.

Negotiation isn't comfortable but being able to work from where you want is worth it.

Co-workers agreeing on a plan

Be flexible, frame it as an experiment, and be prepared to ask multiple times

Try to remain flexible by giving your manager as many ways to approve your request as possible. Emphasize that you're happy to treat it as a temporary experiment and that if it doesn't work you're happy to return to the office.

Perhaps you could work from home every Friday for the next month and then reassess. Suggest a trial period that works for your team and your company then set goals for deliverables.

You might even need to wait for an answer. Keep in mind your boss may not be able to give you permission during the meeting. They may need to check with their supervisor or the Human Resources department to see if there is a remote work policy in place. 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.

Keep in mind the odds are increasingly in your favor. Remote work was already growing in popularity without the pandemic and has only been accelerated. Global Workplace Analytics predicts 25-30% of the entire U.S. workforce will be working from home several days a week by the end of 2021 and 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 whether that be by going fully remote or offering staff the choice to work form home when and if they want to.

If you don't want to wait, it might be time to start looking at companies that support remote work.

Zoom call with two co-workers
Focusing on trust is essential

Focus on building trust as you transition to remote work

If your manager approves your work from home request, it's important to demonstrate that you understand there's more to working from home than skipping the commute and wearing your pajamas.

The most important thing is to build trust during your early days of remote work, both with your manager and the wider team. If you're working at a company that doesn't have an established remote work policy, you are setting an example.

Make the transition smooth by:

  • Over-communicating: Make sure you are communicating a lot in the beginning. It's better to say too much than too little while your manager is getting used to the new arrangement. Over-communicate your schedule, plans, and metrics. Think about what your manger wants to know and provide it in advance.
  • Showing up to meetings on time: People tend to turn up to meetings late, particularly when working remotely. This could be because they're engrossed in a task, muted their notifications, or were away from the keyboard and didn't get back in time. If you want to work from home permanently, do your part and show up on time. This proves to your manager and the rest of your team that you value their time and don't want to leave them waiting for you.
  • Keeping your status up to date: When you're one of the only people not working in the office, it's harder for people to know when you're working and when you're not. Chances are your team uses Slack or another team chat app to communicate. Take advantage of their status features to let your manager and team know when you're available, in a meeting, or otherwise busy. You can even set up automations to automatically update your Slack status.
  • Not reading into emails or messages too much: 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 negative than it is. If you feel like it's a real issue, tell the person and set up a conversation. Chances are they're just busy.
  • Keeping a public calendar: It's a good idea to keep your calendar public so everyone can see your schedule. This reduces the burden on your in-office colleagues and helps them understand when you're working and when you're not.
  • Setting up your home office properly: When you work from home, you have complete control over your environment. Yes, you can work from your bed but we wouldn't recommend it. Especially if you're still trying to convince your manager that working from home is a good idea. Set up your home office for productivity: remove distractions and clutter and invest in a high-quality setup. Once you've settled into working remotely you can work from the couch but it's important to show that you understand that working from home is still work.
  • Being adaptable: There are going to be some teething issues when you start to work from home, both for you, your team, and your manager. Video conferencing software might not work, your Internet might be more flaky than you anticipated, or people might forget to dial you in. You might just need to adjust your schedule, whatever the issue is be willing to adapt for the greater good.
  • Helping pave the way for more remote workers: If you work at a company that doesn't have a remote work policy, you're a pioneer. Do your best to show your manager that remote work can work. Consider documenting the tools you use to stay productive and sharing them with the wider team. If you have team members who are interested in transitioning after you, send them this post and your remote work plan.
Himalayas website screenshot

If all else fails, look for a remote job

You can follow all the steps outlined in this article and your manager may still say no. Be prepared to walk away from your current job. Asking to work from home is a sales pitch and most salespeople will tell you that it's impossible to close every deal.

Be prepared to start looking for remote jobs, if you're not sure where to start we've put together a comprehensive guide on how to find a remote job. There are thousands of remote companies looking to attract remote employees just like you. There's no reason to stay at a company that isn't a good fit for you.

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