How you can convince your boss to work from home?

Before this 2020 pandemic it was more difficult to request work from home, especially for us in Trinidad and Tobago. During this lockdown, many companies locally are forced to act and consider work from home options. Hopefully this trend continues beyond the lockdown, fingers crossed.

First of all, we must recognise that work from home only applies to some classes of workers, mostly back office workers.

Next, you should decide how much work from home you should request, at least initially. If full work from home seems like a harder ask then consider some days work from home. Office days would be for tasks that can only be performed in the office. If you share your job function with others then you can alternate with coworkers, so that someone is always in the office. Even half days can be beneficial.

Do your research so that you can list the advantages and disadvantages and case studies. Be prepared to make a formal presentation to your boss. Know about the technologies and resources that would be required for you to work from home. Get input from your IT department. Pay attention to return on investment, disaster recovery planning, performance management and available options.

Let your boss know that once performance management goals are being met and the job is getting done then it should not matter where you are working from. Productivity is linked to employee well being. Happy employees are less likely to look for another employer. When employees win then employers also win.

Let your boss know that this does not have to be a permanent decision. At the very least give work from home a try for a few months to see that it can work. A phased approached can be adopted. Employees can present work from home as a proposal and have it go through that approval process. Get the input of an expert who can vet your proposal.

Finally, don't give up, keep trying. Get coworkers, union, employee assistance programme and others involved. In some cases, persistence and patience would be needed. Look at all avenues for making your voice be heard.

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