Are you sick (literally) of the 8-5 grind? Do you want to ask your boss to work from home but don’t know how?
Maybe you are scared that you will get fired if you ask your boss to work from home?
My story asking my boss to work fewer hours
Many years ago I worked for a staffing firm in Austin. It was a great company, solid people to work with, but the schedule was killing me.
I left home each morning at 7:15am to endure 45 minutes of bumper-to-bumper traffic to be at the office by 8am sharp. Our day didn’t end until 5:30pm in which I tackled the dreadful drive home for another 45 minutes.
In addition, this was during the time when my band was at its peak of popularity. We oftentimes appeared on radio morning shows (at 6am!) and we played a midnight headlining concert the night before.
I rarely had time to exercise, walk the dog or have a social or dating life. Twelve hours of my day was consumed with work while another 3-5 hours was consumed with chasing my dream. (and this was before I had kids!)
I decided “enough is enough”. It was time to re-claim my so-called life so nobody would have to bury me at age 33.
I walked into Mike’s office (the owner) and simply said, “Mike, I love your company and the staff. You run a tight ship here. I know I am a hard worker and a valuable employee. But I need to talk to you about something that is important to me. It is important for me to get adequate sleep every night, exercise every day and have time to myself. My 8-5:30 schedule isn’t allowing me to accomplish this. I have a proposal for you: Let me work 9-4 for the same pay. Give me one month to prove that I can be just as productive in a 7 hour day as I am in a 9 ½ hour day. If after a month you do not see positive results from me, then I will go back to my original schedule. Fair?”
Mike didn’t blink an eye. He let me implement my new schedule the very next day.
I cannot tell you how different my life was just being able to get one extra hour of sleep in the morning, and 1 ½ extra hours in the evening. I had much more energy, a better attitude, time to exercise, cook at home and have a life!
If you have children, that extra 7.5 hours per week in the evening you have to spend with your family is priceless.
Scared to ask your boss to work from home?
Why do most people fear asking their boss to work from home? Fear of being fired?
Well, if you are going to invest 8-14 hours per day to help a company make money, and if they don’t have enough respect for you to allow you to spend more time with your family or to live a happier life, then that is a big red flag that it is time for you to dust off your resume and find another company to work for anyways.
I later asked Mike why he was so quick to accommodate my new schedule. He said, “Kate, it costs a company a lot of money to replace employees and hire new ones. Any smart employer would rather work with an existing employee than have to replace them with a new one.”
Use this in your favor when negotiating.
Ask to work fewer hours
After step 1 (working fewer hours) is successful, ask your boss to start working from home 2-3 days per week.
After step 2 is successful, ask to work from home permanently. if you are interviewing for a new job, negotiate working from home from the beginning.
You must prove to your boss that you are just as constructive working from home as you are working in the office all day. If you start slacking off or not responding to emails, then you will eventually be fired.
Remember, you get nothing in this world if you don’t ask for it. Keep your life and family a priority. Don’t be a slave to your job or office. Only work for companies who are supportive of this schedule.
What is your story asking your boss to work from home? Is your boss supportive of you wanting to keep your children a priority – or do you have a jerk as a boss? Share your story below!
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