If you just can’t face the office right now and wish to work from home, eventually you’ll have to say something about it to your boss. Of course, you need to know how to ask right?
Well, asking to work from home takes a bit of finesse since there are probably other people at your workplace who want the same thing. They probably have convincing ways of asking to work from home.
We’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be hard or nerve-wracking, especially when you have a good reason and a great way of how to ask work from home.
How to ask work from home: Things to pay attention to so that you will hear a “yes”
If you want to hear “yes” when you ask to work from home, you must pay close attention to the things we’re about to tell you. Otherwise, it probably won’t work, and you’ll be stuck at your desk.
This should be the most obvious thing, but you should ask yourself if the job can be done remotely.
For instance, if you have a big meeting coming up and need to speak to investors in person or present a report, then it’ll probably be easier if you come in yourself.
The same applies to a job that requires you to be hands-on. On the other hand, if most of your work is done on the computer or over the phone, then you qualify for this type of request.
No one is going to do you any favors because you think it’s cool to work in your pajamas or wake up at midday. You will need to show how working from home will benefit your boss.
Some examples include increased productivity and creativity, reducing your carbon footprint, optimizing time, fewer distractions, increased flexibility, and consistency.
This might seem like a weird consideration, but it is important because it can play a huge role in the answer, especially if you work for a private company.
If you are not in good standing with your boss, and if he/she is the type to operate based on these things, then it is unlikely that you will hear a “yes” to your request.
However, if you have a healthy working relationship with your boss, he/she will more likely consider your request.
If you are a great employee who can meet deadlines on time, rarely misses work, and is always willing to put in extra work, then you are likely going to be in good standing with the company. This means they will more likely grant your request.
If you know in your heart that you are not the best employee, that you’re a slacker, and you’re always late, they’ll probably side-eye your request and dismiss it as a way for you to do even less work at the company’s expense.
Your boss is likely going to have a couple of questions when you ask about working from home. Be ready to answer them.
If it is short term, then you must have a good reason such as a contagious illness that you don’t want to spread to other employees. If it is for an extended period, your reason should be fitting such as pursuing a higher form of education.
If you have ticked off all of the above boxes and are confident about hearing a “yes”, please prepare yourself for a “no” or “not right now”. You can be the most ideal candidate for remote work; however, if the timing is wrong, you may hear a negative answer.
For example, during the holidays when it’s all hands on deck, a big merger, or an important proposal, the company might not be willing to let someone work from home just yet. This does not mean you should get mad or quit which would be even worse.
If you can, take some time to assess why you got a negative answer. Then, you can ask again when the time is right. From there, you can decide what your next step will be.
Convincing how to ask work from home reasons
The next part of how to ask work from home is asking and giving a good reason.
Here are 10 convincing reasons for how to ask work from home:
Maternity leave is a freedom that many women can enjoy because it gives them time to prepare for their delivery and relieves their stress. However, you can ask to work from home before that time comes around.
This will work particularly well if you have a high-risk pregnancy, and being at work is not in your best interest. It will also work because no one wants to deal with the mood swings of a pregnant woman in the workplace.
This is an example of how you can use this excuse to work from home:
I do not wish to stop working at this time, but traveling to and from work would not be good for me or my baby. If it would be possible, I would like to request to work from home until I can get back on my feet.
If you have a contagious illness, such as the flu, you can ask to work from home for a few days until it passes.
This will work because it will prevent other workers from getting sick and help you save your sick days for another time.
If you had surgery or are recovering from the treatment of a more serious condition that prevents you from moving around a lot or traveling long distances, then this can be a good reason to work from home.
You will still be able to contribute to the company, and they won’t lose a valuable member of their workforce.
It is a good idea if it is something that you will recover from in a month or two and if your physical absence won’t be noticeable for that period.
Here’s an example of how to ask work from home for illness/recovery:
I was in a car accident over the weekend, and I had to have emergency knee surgery. I am doing fine, but it will be some time before I am on my feet again.
This means I won’t be able to come to the office for a few months. Until then, I’d like to perform all of my work duties at home. Should you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me so that I may address them personally.
Sometimes, your reason for wanting to work from home might not be directly related to you, but it can be because of family.
If you have an aging parent who needs assistance, then you might want to stay home and tend to his/her needs.
If you have a sick child who is unable to go to school or an injured spouse, then you may need to be there for him/her. You won’t likely be able to focus at work, or maybe you can’t find anyone to care for him/her.
This issue will work if you have compassionate bosses who are likely going to understand your plight. It will also only work if you are a good employee with a good track record.
This is one way that you can put forward the idea:
This will not affect my ability to work and perform my duties. I simply wish to spend the last days of her life in her company.
If you are having a hard time dealing with the loss of a spouse, child, parent, or any other loved one, you can ask your boss to allow you to work from home for a while.
Anyone who has lost someone dear to him/her knows that it will take some time before its time to talk to anyone or be around others. However, life continues, and you can’t mope around at home forever.
To make the transition from a dramatic loss back into the working world, you’ll need to take it slow. Working from home is the perfect way to do that.
This will likely work if you had a close relationship with the person, i.e. parent, child, or spouse. It may not necessarily work for a friend or third cousin.
This is how you can ask your boss to work from home:
If your house suffered damage in a flood or a hurricane or if you are doing renovations on your property, then you can use this as a reason to convince your boss to let you work from home for a short term.
This will work because you have to be there for certain things, such as signing off on deliveries, approving plans, and general overseeing of the work being done. This will also work if you’re doing some of the work yourself.
Check out this example of how to ask work from home for a little while or until your home repairs/renovations are done:
I hope this email finds you well. As you know, a terrible storm ravaged the city over the weekend and caused considerable damage.
My house was one of its victims, and it has left me with a hole in the roof, a messy backyard, broken windows, and other types of damage.
I would like to request two weeks of remote work so that I can get my house back to its original state. Thank you in advance for considering my request.
Senior Database Administrator
Your commute refers to how long you take to get to work and how you do it. It can be by walking, riding a bike (if you live close enough), by car, by bus, or using the train if you live a good distance away.
The time it takes to get to and from work each day will vary from person to person. If it is over 45 minutes, then you have a long commute. If you drive, you’ll have to spend a lot more on gas to get to work, and there will be more wear and tear on your vehicle over time.
If you don’t drive and there is no direct route to your workplace, then you’ll end up paying extra for each public vehicle you have to take.
Say, for instance, you have to take two buses and a cab, this would be more expensive than a bus that takes you from point A to point B directly (point B being your workplace).
You’ll also have to get up earlier, which means you may feel more sluggish in the mornings and maybe even have to miss breakfast, just to get to work on time. This can have a negative impact on your productivity, health, and overall happiness at this company.
Your commute is a good excuse to ask to work from home if you meet these criteria, especially since your boss will want his/her employees to be at their best to ensure efficiency and productivity.
If you get an allowance for your commute, your boss will also jump at the chance to cut costs.
Here’s how you can phrase this reason in an email or in a face-to-face discussion:
It would be beneficial for both of us if I were able to work from home instead of making a miserable two-hour commute every day.
At home, I would be much more productive and would never be late again. I would also be able to do more work and be more creative in a calm, familiar environment.
If you have been with the company for a while and wish to broaden your skillset or value, you can ask to work from home to give you time to focus on your education.
This would include doing online classes during the day while still getting your work tasks done and having time to study.
This is a good excuse since you are working towards being a better asset to the company. It will also benefit you because it can put you in line for a promotion or help you to get a better job opportunity.
This is how you can use education as a way to ask for work from home:
If possible, I would like to do this while still working for the company. To achieve this, I would work remotely from my home office until my studies were completed. .
Kindly consider my request. Thank you.
If you live in high or middle latitudes where weather conditions can get pretty extreme, then you can use this as an excuse to ask to work from home.
For instance, if there are bad snowstorms that cause road closures, intense heat waves, or bad rainstorms that stop people from getting to work, this would decrease productivity and output. It would also cause a company to lose money if workers weren’t present due to inclement weather.
By allowing employees to work at home, when applicable, the company can get all the benefits of having full-time employees without the costs of maintaining the office.
This is one way you can present the idea to your employer:
To combat this issue, I believe it would be a great idea for me to be allowed to work from home. That way, I can work every day without having to face harsh weather conditions that negatively affect my performance and the quality of work.
If you plan to move to another city or country because of your spouse’s job or opportunities for your child (e.g. child athlete or singer) and you still want to keep your job, you can use this as a reason to work from home.
This is a good reason to use when you provide an invaluable service to the company, and it is one that can be done remotely. This is also good for you since you won’t have to go on a job hunt in a new city or country where you don’t know anyone.
Use this method to ask your boss to work from home:
He has now been stationed overseas, and this means he won’t be able to come back to visit the family as often as a husband and father should. We have decided as a family that we will move with him to South East Asia.
This was a difficult decision to make. As you know, I love my job here, but my priority is keeping my family together. Surely, you can understand this.
I am hoping to retain my post as junior editor for this magazine and work remotely while I am overseas. I don’t have to physically be in the office to do my job.
If you already have the opportunity to work from home for one or two days out of the week, then you can easily use this as a reason to work from home permanently.
This will, of course, only work if you have been on top of your deadlines, productive, and have shown that the work you’ve done from home has been beneficial for the company.
This is a good reason because you already have experience working from home, and they know you can do it well. Not to mention, it can help the company cut more costs.
Here’s how you can present the idea to them:
This letter serves as my formal request for extended remote work.
I already work three days out of the week at home and believe to be doing a good job. I would like to work from home on a full-time basis. I am well-adjusted to this type of work and prefer working at home instead of at the office.
Kindly consider my request. Thank you.
Now, you know how to ask work from home (i.e. what to consider). You have some good reasons, so what are you waiting for?
The sooner you ask, the sooner you can be home and working in your pajamas! We’re keeping our fingers crossed for you!