How to approach working from home.

the ability to work from home can enable you to be more present.  do school drop offs and pick ups, run errands or make appointments - and still do the work you love.

Many companies offer work from home (telework) arrangements and various studies highlight the benefits this arrangement can offer not only the employee (hello work/life satisfaction), but also the employer in the form of cost saving from lower overheads, enhanced productivity and increased capacity to attract and retain talent.

Some managers are more open to this kind of arrangement than others, but no matter your supervisors’ style, here are a few tips to help you talk to them about working from home.

  1. Be open – Understand that you are asking for flexibility but you also need to be flexible yourself.  Working from home is a give and take arrangement.  You may be asking to work a few days or mornings a week, but acknowledge that there will be times when you’ll need to come in for team meetings and activities.
  2. Make connections – Being connected to your leadership and your team is key no matter where you work, but having relationships and established trust is really important when you’re not face-to-face on a daily basis.  Cultivate a communication style that enables you to reach out to people and stay connected so you remain top of mind for projects, promotions and key information.
  3. Build a case – Show your employer that you have thought about how you’re going to work from home.  Demonstrate a dedicated workspace, a work plan and share with them how you will make working from home more productive for you.
  4. Get educated – There are many digital communication tools that can make staying connected with your team easier.  Figure out what works for your workplace and make sure you (and your team) are comfortable and familiar with it.  This can also be an opportunity for you to bring new and exciting technology into your workspace – and be seen as an innovator for doing so.
  5. Get clear on outcomes – Make sure that your plan includes a clear understanding for both you and your boss of what your outcomes are.  Knowing your targets (and sticking to them) will help to build trust and continue to foster an open channel of communication about your work.