How to Ask to Work Remotely Full-Time: Steps and Tips

Updated June 24, 2022

If you aren't already working remotely full time as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be considering asking your manager if you can make the switch to working from home. Performing your job duties remotely may contribute to flattening the curve of the virus as well as give you peace of mind that you aren't risking the health of you or your loved ones by working in a public area.

In this article, we talk about the steps you can take to ask your supervisor to allow you to work at home full time as well as how to create a proposal plan to present when making this request.

What are the benefits of working from home full time?

Working remotely full time can provide several benefits, especially during this time as society works to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. When asking your manager to allow you to make the switch to working from home, it's important to highlight these benefits to support your request. Here are a few advantages that remote work can offer:

  • Increased work-life balance

  • Reduced stress associated with commuting to and from work and being in an environment where the virus could be spread

  • Fewer interruptions from colleagues and other office goings-on

  • Decreased overhead costs for the company as a result of fewer people in the office

  • Increased productivity due to the ability to control your work environment

  • Reduced risk of getting sick which contributes to less employee sick-leave requests

Related: Everything You Should Know About Working From Home

How to ask your manager to allow you to work remotely full time

The following are steps to take both before and while you are requesting to work remotely full time:

  1. Work out the details before making your request.

  2. Make a list of the benefits.

  3. Create a proposal plan.

  4. Account for potential problems that may arise.

  5. Set a meeting with your manager.

1. Work out the details before making your request

Before you go to your manager with your request to work remotely full time, take the time to work out all the details. This shows you're serious about this proposal and takes the guesswork out of the situation for your supervisor. Things to consider include:

  • Does your office have a VPN you need to connect to at home? If so, what steps do you need to take to make this connection?

  • Do you require any special technology to complete your work at home? If so, do you have access to it?

  • Do you regularly communicate with others (coworkers, clients, etc.) to do your work? How will you go about that while working remotely?

  • Do you supervise others? How do you plan to continue to do this effectively at home?

The more details you have covered when going into your request, the more prepared you'll appear and the more confidence your manager will have in your ability to work remotely.

2. Make a list of the benefits

Showing your supervisor the benefits of working remotely is key to backing up your request. Think of it as creating a case for your request. Questions to consider include how working remotely will increase your ability to effectively perform your job and how it will positively affect your team and output.

Read more: Benefits of Working Remotely

3. Create a proposal plan

Having a formal proposal plan ready is much more effective than casually asking your manager to work remotely. A proposal plan shows your manager you are taking this seriously and will encourage your supervisor to do so as well.

4. Account for potential problems that may arise

Telecommuting may present challenges that working in an office does not. For example, if you have young children who will be home with you, you'll need to ensure that you can still be productive. Brainstorm all potential issues that could come up when working remotely and the solutions you can implement to overcome them. This ensures you are ready in the event of pushback from your manager and shows you have sufficiently planned for this transition to remote work.

Read more: 7 Challenges of Working Remotely and How to Overcome Them

5. Set a meeting with your manager

Once you have completed the previous steps, it's time to set up a meeting with your manager to present your request. It's best to make this request either in-person or on a video conference call rather than over the phone or via chat. During the meeting, stay as professional and open-minded as possible. Answer any questions your employer has and be willing to hear their side of things. If your manager tells you they need time to consider the request, set a specific time to follow up to ensure your proposal keeps moving forward and isn't forgotten.

How to create a proposal to ask to work remotely full time

Use these steps to create a viable plan to present when asking to work remotely full time:

  1. Explain your reasons for requesting to work remotely and the specific nature of your request.

  2. Discuss your work track record in a way that shows you are capable of handling the responsibilities that come with working from home. Include your qualifications, performance and any other factors that show you in a positive light.

  3. Outline a specific schedule that you plan to follow while working remotely. Include the hours you will work and whether you will be available via email, phone or other methods of communication used by your organization.

  4. Propose how you plan to keep in contact with all necessary parties including clients, managers and team members. Questions to answer include how often will you reach out to each and the method of communication you will use.

  5. Discuss any costs that may be associated with your working remotely, such as new technology and software, and who will be responsible for paying for it.

  6. Include specific steps you will take to remain accountable to your manager and your team. For example, you could set up a meeting with your manager once a month to keep them up-to-date on your work.

  7. Outline every benefit that you anticipate working remotely will have for your organization. Include at least three unique advantages.

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