How do I sell Working from Home to my employer?

(17 Posts)
Mum8 Mon 18-Feb-13 12:38:18

Hello,

I plan to return to work full time, but before I do I wanted to ask for 1 or 2 days a week to work from home. How do I mention it to my employer and how do I justify it?

Dd will be in a nursery and we can only just afford it and I want to save even a little on petrol (as work not close) and have a little easier days without the commute if possible.

My company does not encourage that and I thought of mentioning it will allow me to pick up daugther earlier from nursery as I will not have the work commute on those days. Are there any other ways to present it so they understand how helpful it will be for me? I will restrain mentioning the finances as I do not think this is something that works for employers...

Any advice appreciatedxx

You need to sell it to them - so how will you get the work done without detriment? How will you be contactable? Access work documents? Attend meetings? Will you be flexible? also make it clear your child will be in childcare.

Selks Mon 18-Feb-13 12:51:27

They will not be interested in how helpful it is for you but how helpful it is for them. You need to sell it to them from that angle - make a business case for it.

Denty2012 Tue 19-Feb-13 20:15:12

Sorry to butt in but I'm currently back at work 4 days a week and successfully managed to negotiate working from home for 2 of those days. I essentially explained that I really wanted to work, but that childcare restrictions meant I could only be in the office 2 days a week. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing my line manager accepted my proposal.

My question to you, as someone who is currently doing this, is are you absolutely 100% its what you want?

My DS is 8 months old and an absolute angel.....so long as he's got my full attention. I can honestly say that juggling work with childcare is the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

When the phone rings and my son cries my stomach knots. Right now I feel that nobody is getting the best of me. At work I am distracted, with my DS I am neglectful and by the time DP gets home I'm a total wreck. And unshowered (which just feels grosssad )

I'm so sorry for the negative post, of course everyone's situation is different, its just that I'm right in the middle of this now and really really struggling. I'm beginning to think I was a bit naive in thinking I could handle it all.

Have you considered maybe working from home BUT having someone there to help you as well? That way you can get your head down / answer calls etc when needed? Not sure what funds are like (ours are non existent) but quite a few colleges and universities look for home placements for their childcare students to gain hands on experience. Something I'm currently looking into...

Sorry for the brain-dump. Good luck, whatever you decide x

I think the op plans to have childcare when she's working from home. I do it from time to time when I have sick children and its hard I agree. Luckily work are flexible, as long as I'm contactable they don't mind if I finish early.

Mmmchampagne Tue 19-Feb-13 21:35:04

I work full time including one day a week from home. The way I positioned it is to outline how I'd proactively structure my work week so that I'd schedule all the meetings that required face to face contact for Monday to Thursday and as much as possible use Fridays for planning, forecasting, writing or reviewing documents - the type of work that really benefits from having time set aside to concentrate on it. Doesn't always work out that way in reality, sometimes I just use it to get lots of tasks done that I haven't had the time to do throughout the week. You so have to be really disciplined with it but I think you can make it work and position it as beneficial for the business.

starfishmummy Tue 19-Feb-13 21:38:41

My employer would expect to know what childcare I had in place. They would not expect anyone to be looking after their child themselves during working hours.

ceebeegeebies Tue 19-Feb-13 21:44:32

Denty I am shock that your work agreed that you could work from home and look after your child aswell - every example of homeworking I have come across is on the basis that the child will be in childcare of some sort. What are you going to do when your DS is, say, 18 months old and toddling around and getting up to all sorts?

OP - as a pp has said, you need to put together a business case as to how it is going to benefit the business or how you will restructure your working week to accommodate the day at home.

Denty2012 Wed 20-Feb-13 10:59:13

ceebee I agree that when he's older it'll be impossible (its impossible now!) Thankfully I have a full time place at nursery for him in September, but its massively oversubscribed at the mo, so no chance before then.

I think my best option is to get someone to help whilst I'm working from home - will let you know how I get on in my hunt for students!

As for my boss, well. Due to redundancies and resignations they were essentially desperate for me to come back. I was desperate for an income. So I pushed and they accepted. More fool me sad.

AsphyxiaXIX Wed 20-Feb-13 11:09:08

There is quite an interesting book called The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. The guy who wrote it has lots of different businesses that require minimum input and provide him with money to support his lifestyle (at least that's the idea, I don't know how well it works for most people although he claims its possible, hence the book).

Anyway, the bit that is relevant to you is he provides a step by step approach to getting your employer to let you work from home. It basically involves negotiating one day a week from home (usually a Friday is best) then doing loads of work on that day and being really productive and slacking off slightly the other days so your bosses realise you work better from home as no office distractions etc. he says you can then step it up until you are working more and more from home. Basically it's a mix between being a bit manipulative and showing them its worth their while. Maybe worth a read?

MarilynValentine Wed 20-Feb-13 11:15:06

When I made my request I wrote a list of why it wouldn't impact negatively on my work and included a link to a study which concluded that home workers are more efficient. (Can't remember what it was now but have a google).

They turned me down but they would have done anyway. I was lucky enough to find a different job where I work from home three days out of five.

Good luck. And don't forget it's always worth having a sniff around for other potential jobs if your workplace are stubborn.

Does anyone else at your company work from home? It's always helpful if there's a precedent. Bearing that in mind, how likely are other workers at your company to start also requesting to work from home? That may put a negative spin on things so it's something worth thinking about.

Definitely emphasise that your child will be in childcare on those days so that you are not expecting to have to manage a child and work. One of my colleagues does occasionally work from home and look after their child, but those of us who have tried this just raise our eyebrows (there are other performance issues with this particular worker).

Working from home is more efficient - less gossip, and I think also, a determination to prove that you are working and being efficient. I love being able to work from home, but only do it a couple of days a month.

Mum8 Wed 20-Feb-13 15:54:42

Many Thanks everyone, yes I plan to have dd in nursery, as I agree I could not do it otherwise. Now I am on maternity and cannot do anything else unless she is asleep as she also started rolling and I need to watch her 24/7.

A colleaugue works from home, but he is a freelancer. I have worked in the past from home when I was unwell, as I felt bad having colleaugues cover. I have to say I was so much more productive as I did not have colleaugues interrupting me all the time and it was quite good to catch up with work.

I will propose that. Another thought I had was to propose having a shorter lunchbreak on other days and leave a little earlier to avoid traffic. I will have to think how that will benefit the company. In my case, it will allow me for a slightly longer day with my dd.

MidlandMummy Wed 03-Apr-13 19:07:56

Mum8, How did it go? I'm just at the beginning of my maternity leave but am planning on asking my employer to work from home two-three days a week and to go into the office one day a week (with the little one being in childcare when I'm working). My maternity cover is only going into the office once every two weeks so I'm hoping that this bodes well for me but am already feeling anxious about pitching it to my boss (partly because my commute is very long and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to go back to work there if they say no...)

FamiliesShareGerms Wed 03-Apr-13 19:13:46

Remember as a parent of a small child you have a statutory right to request a flexible working pattern, and this can only be refused on certain grounds. So make sure that your proposal specifically addresses these (and that you are making a statutory application).

See if you can check what your HR guidance says about any family friendly policies your company has, and quote these liberally in your application.

CraigStimo Wed 10-Apr-13 17:38:32

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

milkybarsrus Sat 27-Apr-13 22:27:57

you need to have a list of bullit points as to why working is from home is beneficial to both you and work. Apply using the flexibly working scheme form which is on Direct.Gov. The manager must have a sound business reason to not allow home working. But you have a duty to say that you've got things covered whilst working from home (childcare), for example you will be distracted if you little one needs your attention and you are on a conference call etc. The plus side is that you will have less stress which bosses know leads to sick time off if your work life is balanced. Your company would look good if they ACTIVELY promote women/mums being in the workplace, you are a valuable member of staff. Also, less travel time to work has less impact on the environment with fuel etc. Its a known fact that home workers often get more work done than office based workers. With the phone and emails etc, it is easier now than ever to work from home. Hope this helps.

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