Working Moms

How to ask to work from home?

My company is moving in a month. I currently work 10 minutes from my house and the move will add 20+ minutes to my commute.  I am really bummed about the change, especially because I tend to go home during lunch to see DS and I take him to Gymboree once a week. This will be impossible once we move.

I was thinking of asking my boss if I could work from home one day a week.  My company is pretty flexible about WFH but my job doesn't lend itself to doing that full-time. I figured one day a week would be a good compromise.

Any suggestions on how and when to ask? He is a good boss - tends to leave me alone and let me do my job.  I can go days without really speaking with him. I was thinking of asking just before we move but then I was thinking maybe I should give it more lead time.  I also don't know if I should ask in person or via email.

Advice needed!

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Re: How to ask to work from home?

  • I would ask in person so you can get a read on his response as you talk and adjust your conversation accordingly, which you can't do via email.

    When I proposed one day from home, I talked about the logistics - what I will need to work from home that I don't already have there. I was granted permission to get a license for all my software and have my calls transfered to my cell. I purchased more ram for my home computer out of my own pocket to be sure I could work efficiently. Will it be easy for you to access files on servers at work from home? How about getting emails? Go over things you need to do to make it seem seamless to clients/colleagues. I had to prove that DD was in childcare and not underfoot. They didn't want this to become a childcare issue for other workers to try.

    We went into it with a trial basis. After 3 months, we all came back to the table and talked about how to improve the situation. At that point, if they were not happy with how productive I was or anything, they could have pulled the plug. That is my motivation to work hard and not slack as much as I would like at home.

    Good luck! My commute is 3 hours a day, so it's a life saver once a week. I am sure it will help you as well.

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  • My job is also flexible about WFH (I'm doing it right now!)but my position is not one that can be from home FT.I asked while I was still pregnant about doing 1 day a week from home and then other days occasionally as well.  I did it in person and my boss was totally fine with it.

    I say do it in person!

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  • i WFH part time as well.  i definitely think you should speak with your boss in person and give as much lead time as possible.  go prepared with a possible WFH plan to show that you've thought about the logistics and can seamlessly transition your new schedule.

    when i spoke with my boss, i suggested remote access to my office computer so i could still work on all of our systems and have access to our shared drives.  my calls aren't forwarded to my home, so i frequently check my voicemail.

    like a PP mentioned, we started this on a trial basis when i returned back to work in september.  WFH could be revoked at any time if they were unhappy with my performance.  so far, its worked out great and i think i've been a more productive worker just to prove that i can handle working from home. 

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  • definitely ask in person and do whatever you can to emphasize how working from home will improve your work/give you more time, focus, etc... don't be afraid to acknowledge the benefits to you, but find some ways it will benefit your boss/company.  ask for a month trial period, and if there is any way to clearly quantify your work at home vs. work at the office (i.e. completed five work orders/projects/docs at home when i normally finish 3 or 4 in the office), do so!  work extra hard at home to show your boss it's worth it.
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