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How to ask your boss to work from home (at least some of the time)

Before the first lockdown - remember that? We were so innocent then! The idea of working from home sent shivers down the spines of middle management everywhere. Once many of us were told to do it, our suspicions were confirmed - we’re better off! 

Since things seem to be calming down enough for employers to start requesting us back to the office, that means that parents are going to have to figure out how to lose some of the conveniences of a work-life balance. Or, heaven forbid, actually having to find time to drop the kids off at school and not having to pay someone else to pick them up. 

True story, an office I used to work for had an in-house daycare that cost about 60 percent of the average employee’s salary.

So, let’s get to it. How to ask to work from home:

  • Start with the straightforward question - would they be open to you continuing to work from home one or more days per week?
  • If they aren’t sure, tell them all the benefits to you and them. You’re happier working remotely, less stressed, more efficient, you spend the commuting time taking your kids to/from school.
  • If they say no and it’s a real deal-breaker, perhaps another company is in your future (but don’t tell them that until you have somewhere to go).

If they’re still sticking their heels in, go for the wallet:

  • The company will save money not having to pay for a physical office. 
  • Surveyed employees have said they’re likely to leave if required to go back to working in an office, especially when the employees have to go back to spending their own money on commuting, gas, vehicle wear-and-tear, parking, buying lunch every day, office clothes, etc. 
  • Happier, less stressed employees stay in their jobs longer and are more productive and take less sick days.
  • It’s easier to get work done when you don’t have people swinging by your desk every 5 minutes. 

There are always going to be 2 types of bosses - ones who are open to change and do what’s best for their employees, or the ones who want to go back to the old ways because that’s how it’s always been done. 

James is a busy dad and creator of SocialDad.ca. He lives in North Vancouver, BC and tries to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

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