wikiHow to Convince Your Boss to Let You Work from Home

If you work in a conventional office setting, but your circumstances have changed you may want to explore the possibility of working from home. Whether you’ve become a parent or your commute has become too stressful or expensive, working from home provides numerous benefits for both the worker and the company. However, if your company has never allowed employees to telecommute and you have to blaze the trail, you will need to get your facts and persuasive argument in order before presenting the notion to your supervisor.


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    Identify a concrete reason why you would like to work from home. If sleeping in or being able to come to work in your pajamas is the basis of your argument, give up now and keep hitting the office every day.
    • Point to value-added reasons to telecommute. Look especially for ways that telecommuting could benefit the company. Situations that may be enticing to a company is if you are constantly having to leave work to care for a sick child or parent and could remedy that interruption by working from home. Instead of having to leave and possibly leave your work at home, you could continue to work while caring for your child or parent.
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    • Consider your position at work. Another bargaining chip may be if your job is productivity-based (your performance depends upon your work production) and you find that the surrounding environment to be clogged with disruptions. Finding a haven (at home) where you can have the room to think and produce without the loud, sustaining boom of machinery or the employee next door may increase your productivity level and work quality.
    • Explore aspects of your job you can use to save the company money. Examine your benefit structure to determine if you could swap certain benefits for the ability to work from home. For example, if your husband/wife has great health insurance and the insurance you receive from your company is subpar, consider trading that expense. Or you could use trade sick days or the prepaid gym membership (for example) as leverage. Before chipping away at any benefits, be sure you discuss your plans with your partner/spouse.
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    Determine if it’s even possible to telecommute to work. If you are a supervisor or a teacher that needs to be hands on with the employees/students, going virtual may not work. Examine your job to make sure you could perform all the duties remotely before approaching your boss.
    • Evaluate the main core of your duties. Do your primary duties surround production such as design, writing, computer analytics or sales? If your performance is measured by your individual production you may be a good candidate for telecommuting.
    • Do you have the equipment and space at home to telecommute? Are there specific pieces of equipment that are housed only at the office, or could you effectively perform every aspect of your job from home? If part of your job involves meeting with certain employees, with the introduction of online software tools like Skype and Go to Meeting, connecting with other employees shouldn’t be too difficult. Also, if you are going to maintain a level of professionalism, you can’t work from the dining room table--you will need a designated office space in your home.
    • Could your company’s infrastructure support a telecommuter? Is your company set up to accommodate your physical absence, but continued connection? Do employees already use Skype for meetings and are projects submitted electronically? You may have a harder time convincing your boss to let you telecommute if the entire company still functions on paper and in person.
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    Decide if you are truly worthy to work from home. If you tend to slack off, deliver projects late and turn in a mediocre performance you may laughed right out of your boss’s office. However, if you have a proven track record with statistics to back up your reasons, you may have a shot.
    • Create a resume of your “highs” with the company. Dig back into the past few years (or months) and create a resume or list of your accomplishments and how those feats have positively impacted corporate growth.
    • Identify ways you’ve saved the company money. Money typically talks at any company so if you can add up how your presence has saved the company money (and if going virtual will save even more money), you will be even more valuable.
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    • Have a list of facts and statistics to back up your position. Research both national and local telecommuting statistics such as using studies by other companies like Cisco. The company conducted a 2009 survey and found that telecommuting not only increased employee productivity, it saved the company $277 million a year in overhead costs and lost productivity.
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    Evaluate your relationship not only with your boss, but other employees. In order to make this work, you must have a bond and strong communication with everyone around you.
    • Does your boss “get you” and respect you as an employee? Does your boss trust your opinion and see you as an expert in your field or does he/she micromanage your work and second guesses what you do? Only if you have a relationship built on mutual respect and open communication will a telecommuting position work.
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    • Do other employees understand your job? In some cases, if other employees are disconnected from you and/or do not understand your job jealously may form, which will not only impede what you are trying to do but will put pressure on your boss to eliminate the program. A well-connected employee who clearly demonstrates his/her contribution to the company will be able to maintain harmony at work even in his/her physical absence.
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    Approach your boss in a non confrontational manner. Gather your facts, reasons and a description of the ideal scenario before making an appointment to talk. If you approach you boss in a friendly, easy manner, backed up with hard to ignore facts you’ll set yourself up for success.
    • Create a presentation packet that he/she can review. Generate a professional, comprehensive report backing up the reasons why you should work from home and most importantly, why it will be beneficial for the company.
    • Ask your boss if he/she has ever worked from home or has had a previous employee who telecommuted. Your boss may be a huge proponent of the idea and you may not even know it. Ask him/her questions about how he/she feels about the idea and any experiences he/she has had in the past.
    • Spin the idea so that it will provide a bigger benefit for the company. Although working from home will provide a huge benefit to you, your goal is to hit home the major positives your physical absence will have on the company and your boss’s position. Don't leave out the reason why you want to work from home, however accentuate the productivity level and money saving positives for the company.
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    Ask to try it for a limited duration. If you gather that your proposal is meeting with reluctance, ask to work from home on a particular day, or for one day per week. Use the trial day(s) to demonstrate to your boss and your colleagues that you will can communicate and be productive even out of the office. Check in with your managers frequently, and make sure to address any concerns they may have.


  • Discuss work hours with your employer. Is it necessary that you are available between specific work hours or is it possible for you to work nights and/or weekends instead?
  • Be flexible and open minded to the possibility of a flex-schedule where you come into the office a few days a week and work from home the rest.
  • Re-present your idea if it’s initially turned down. Wait for an opportune time such as when you cannot finish a project because of the commotion surrounding your cubicle or having to be at home when your babysitter bails. Your boss may need to see firsthand how working from home could be a better situation.


  • If you are allowed to telecommute, treat your workday as you would when you were in the office. Don’t “play hooky” because no one is looking over your shoulder. Doing this will negatively impact your productivity levels and could put you out of a job.
  • Avoid becoming overly frustrated if your boss says “no” to your initial plan. He/she may need to get used to the idea and may come around eventually. If you become angry or irritated he/she may see this as a negative and could disregard the idea altogether.

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Categories: Working from Home