• 2020/03/03

How to ask your boss to work remotely

Remote work isn't the future of work — it's the present.
You already knew it, even before COVID-19, but your boss needs convincing?

Your boss has to know that simply returning to the way it was before COVID-19, is not an option. Even after the harsh lockdown rules, social distancing will still be in place and your employer needs to rethink his work structure. To avoid risks and prepare for the future, they will have to allow their employees to work remotely. Either by creating a satellite office or letting you work from a coworking space nearby. These flexible workspaces have put all necessary social distancing guidelines in place and offer a safe place to work without constant distractions. 

With these 7 steps, you can make a strategic plan and convince your boss that remote working will end up being one of the best decisions he/she could ever make:

1. Read, read, read
First of all: preparation is key. Prepare yourself by reading about all the advantages (and disadvantages) of remote working, both for employers as employees. For example: 8 reasons why you should let your employees work remotely, How to implement remote working into you company and 8 reasons why you should remote work. Print them out, read them and memorize them, especially the ones outlining the pros for companies.

Also a must-read: your company’s HR policies. Read them, understand them and make sure you’re following them as you start on the path to working remote.

Tip: print out the most important articles and take them to your meeting with your boss. You’ll look more prepared.

2. Be flexible
The more flexibility you suggest to your employer, the better your chances of getting a “yes” answer. Especially when creating your schedule. What will work for your company, or you, might be different in January than it is in July. If summer is your company’s busy season, be willing to come into the office more during those months. If you expect your boss to be flexible with you, try to meet their needs as well. 

3. Make a plan
Show your boss how you’re going to meet your responsibilities and still contribute to the team and the company. Focus on measurable goals to make your boss feel comfortable with you working remotely.

4. Do research
Research what it means to work remotely and what facilities you need. Make sure you have a list with possible coworking spaces, memberships and the proper technology and materials to work efficiently remote. 

5. Make it look like a win-win
Don’t just focus on your needs and what’s going to help you from a personal perspective. You’re even better off looking at it from the company’s perspective. When meeting with your boss, outline how the company will save money and how it’s actually a win for the company.

6. Suggest a trial period
Suggesting a trial period with regular check-ins will show your boss how flexible you are and still give your boss a sense of control. Be willing to adjust over time to make it work for you, your team and your employer. Think about how you’re going to show your figurative presence in the office, be responsive by phone and email.

7. Write it down
Keep in mind that your boss may not be able to give you permission during your meeting. He/she may need to check with his supervisor and/or the organization's HR department. To help your boss make his/her case, it helps to write down your plan.

In fact, you may want to communicate your request by mail prior to your meeting. That way, your boss isn't caught off guard by your request.

Here an example of how you can request to work remotely:

Subject Line: Request to work from a coworking space

Dear Christine,
I'm excited about our marketing plans for this year's Accelerator Programme. As you know, this will require a lot of planning and writing. We'll need to create a social media plan to attract potential participants, write website page copy and develop the calendar and workshops as well.

Leading up to the programme, I'd like to work remotely two days a week. I prefer working from a coworking space rather than from home. I think it’s a better fit for me, concentration-wise. I heard about the coworking space WATT Factory, could be interesting.

In previous roles, working remote increased my productivity. Wednesday and Friday would be ideal coworking days, as we don't have any team meetings. Of course, I can be completely flexible and come into the office if we ever do need face-to-face time, and I'll be available by phone and email on coworking days, in case anything comes up.
Eager to hear your thoughts on this plan.


Now you know what to do. Take these 7 steps, work them out for you personally, plan a meeting with your boss and we hope to see you soon! Contact Silke if you want a free try-out day in our WATT Factory coworking space. 


WATT Factory
Vlasgaardstraat 52
9000 Gent

Follow us