WORKING FROM HOME: HOW TO GET YOUR BOSS ON BOARD
Once we found out we were pregnant, my husband and I did what I believe most pregnant couples do, and we started to freak out (in a good way)!
We were both very excited, but we were also very nervous about stepping into the unknown.
One of our main concerns was child care so we had to figure out a way to take care of the baby without it being too much of a financial burden. Me not working was not an option.
We decided that working from home was our best option and we came up with an idea to present to my boss, and he agreed that I could work from home. I am a paralegal and a big part of my job is customer service, so figuring out how to work from home proved difficult. I had to come up with an idea to present to my boss that would allow me to prove my value, while at the same time giving up the ability to provide any customer service.
So here are a few tips on how to get your boss to agree to let you work from home.
The first step (and the most important) that you need to do is come up with a job description/plan BEFORE you present it to your boss. When you approach your boss, you already should have a plan IN WRITING so you are clear on what you intend to do from home.
Your plan should include your specific job duties and if you work with a team or group of people, include the benefits that your new job description will bring them as well as the business as a whole.
Make sure your job description allows you to adjust the time you are able to work, especially if you have children. I work for a law firm, which is open the traditional business hours, 8:30 to 5:30. I have a newborn, so I would not be available to sit in front of the computer from 8 to 5, I needed flexibility. Make sure that you give options to be reached during office hours i.e. email on your phone, office cell phone, but make it clear that beforehand that you will be working flexible hours.
If you want to work from home without having to work additional hours, make sure your plan focuses on productivity and not hours worked. Working from home does not mean that you need to work all day or that you work more hours. The main focus of your plan should be your productivity, not how many hours you can sit in front of the computer at home. Do not state that you will give a report of your hours worked, instead offer to present a report of work completed.
When your explaining your work from home plan, anticipate any questions that may arise. For example, my job requires printing and scanning and a lot of paperwork. In my plan, I had addressed the purchase of a printer and scanner. I also sold the idea of moving the business into the future by transitioning into a more paperless firm. When my boss asked me how I intended to complete certain tasks, I handed him my written plan which included a list of items (with price) that I would need in order to work from home. Most of the items that I did need, we already had which was a plus.
In your plan, you need to include how this will benefit the business as a whole. Address the financial gains that will come do to an increase in efficiency for example. Or address the ability to take on tasks that will alleviate other people in the business giving them more time to focus on other things. There are different ways that your plan can bring benefits to the business, make sure they are clearly stated. This is a big part of your ability to convince your boss to get on board with you working from home.
Both my husband and I work full time outside of the home, so we knew that once baby arrived, we would need a plan regarding her childcare. Our first choice was having a family member watch her, but both our mothers work full time and it just would not be possible. We then considered hiring a nanny, but I did not like the idea of someone I didn’t know taking care of my baby. We knew that for both of us, we would feel best if I were the one that stayed home taking care of our child. We also knew, that financially, it would not be the best idea for us, so that meant figuring what I could do to make money from home.
Hopefully these tips will give you ideas on how to get your boss to agree in letting you work from home!