Careers

5 tips for negotiating a remote work policy with your boss

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For some professionals, reporting to an office every day not be an ideal routine. In fact, last year 43 percent of working Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely.

Companies like Amazon, Hilton and Dell adding more remote work positions, but some employers still fear that flexible work schedules will decrease productivity and collaboration.

To convince your boss that a remote work policy can be good for business, FlexJobs career specialist Brie Reynolds suggests following these five steps:

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1. Evaluate the demands of your position

Before scheduling a meeting with their boss to discuss an adjustment to their schedule, Reynolds says an employee should first evaluate the responsibilities of their job.

"For example, if you work in sales and meet with a lot of clients in the office then working from home may not be best for you," she tells CNBC Make It. "Maybe think about adjusting your schedule to only take clients during a certain time and get a flexible schedule that way."

If you have any friends who have negotiated a flexible work schedule, Reynolds also suggests asking them how they went about convincing their boss.

2. Check in with your HR department

Check with your company's HR department to get insight into whether the company has a remote work policy that isn't being employed in your division, or if they have ever had one in the past.

If there was once a remote work policy in place, ask why it was eliminated. If there is one that is currently in place that other departments are using, ask workers from that department how the flexibility is impacting them. Then, present any positive feedback you receive to your boss.

3. Draft a proposal

After getting information on your company's relationship with remote work, draft a proposal that makes the case for why a flexible schedule will be good for your work, your team and your boss.

In explaining its benefit, Reynolds advises employees to steer clear of focusing on personal motivations.

"Some people have a more personal relationship with their boss, but if you don't, then keep it on a professional level," she says. "It will show that you thought about not only yourself, but the impact it will have on the company as a whole."

For example, Reynolds says you can make the business case for how a remote work policy can eliminate your commute and help you start your day less stressed.

4. Plan for a trial period

In addition to drafting a proposal, Reynolds says employees should also create a plan that allows their boss to agree to a trial period. In this plan, you should outline how long the trial period will be, what you will be doing during that period and how you and your boss can measure your success.

Mapping out a trial period, Reynolds says, can be great if you know your boss will be hesitant about committing to a full-time work-from-home plan.

5. Present your idea

After you've gathered all of the information you need and assessed how remote work will benefit both you and the company, the next step is to present your plan. Rather than simply emailing your proposal, set up an in-person meeting with your boss that's convenient for their schedule.

"If you know Monday morning your boss is always really stressed out then you won't want to talk to them then," says Reynolds.

Once the meeting is scheduled, be as detailed as possible when discussing your request. If they agree to a trial period then you're one step closer to winning them over. If they say no, then Reynolds suggests waiting a few months before following up again.

"During that time, try to keep showing how reliable and productive you will be by working from home," she adds. "For example, if there is a snowstorm and you can't get to the office, use that time to show your boss how working from home can actually boost your productivity."

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