7 Ways to Negotiate More Flexibility at Work

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: July 22, 2013

Talking to Your Boss -- You Can Do It!

You love your in-office job. But at this point in your career (and life), you need to work at home. Convincing your boss that you’d like to telecommute is not as difficult as you might think. Here are some tips on how to negotiate a flex work schedule that benefits both you and the company.

7. Assess Your Job

Write down everything you currently do in your job. Now, which aspects of your position could be done working at home? Maybe it’s writing proposals or researching tech companies. Be very specific about what can clearly be done at home.

6. Create a Proposal

It can be very easy for your boss to reject your pitch outright if you don’t have a written summary of your plan in place. When you present your proposal, make bulleted points that your boss can refer back to you. Having your ideas written out shows that you clearly thought about the idea and are serious about it. It also allows your boss something to refer back to after your meeting should he have any additional questions.

5. Offer Examples

Find others in your field who have successfully negotiated a work at home arrangement. Reach out to them and ask them specifically how they did it. Then highlight their success when meeting with your own supervisor. This will help your boss see that your position can be performed from home—and has successfully been done so by others.

4. Make Scheduling Options

Sure, you’d love to telecommute and say sayonara to your 40-hour workweek in the office. But chances are your boss will not allow you to work at home full time right away. So be prepared to offer options on how you envision your work at home schedule will be.

You might be in the office Monday through Thursday, and work at home on Friday. Or you could work every day in the office but leave early in the afternoons. Having options improves your chances of convincing your boss to let you work at home.

3. Propose a Trial Basis

If your boss is unwilling to let you work at home, ask to do it on a trial basis. You can say, “Let’s try this option for one month and see how it goes.” During that month, keep your work performance at an all-time high to illustrate that working from home is no different than you working in the office.

2. Keep It Strictly Business

You might need to telecommute because you just had a baby and need a little extra time to transition. Or you might be a part of the sandwich generation and need to care for an aging parent. Whatever your reason, keep your personal reasons private when asking to work at home. That way, your boss will see you’re serious about your job and the company’s needs.

1. Maintain Your Professionalism

If your boss rejects your telecommuting pitch on the first try, stay positive. While you might be frustrated (and angry) at your boss’ lack of compassion, maintaining your professionalism will count in your favor for the future. After a couple of months, you can revisit the issue—and hopefully score a work at home schedule.

Salary.com Can Help

No matter what you're negotiating you need to do research first. And Salary.com can help.

The first thing you should do is research, so you're able to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth. Use our free Salary Wizard below to find out what's a fair salary for your position. You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.

Good luck.