Some employees would love the opportunity to work from home, but they encounter resistance when approaching management about the possibility. Learning why some companies and leaders take the stance that employees are not allowed to work from home can help aspiring remote workers create a stronger case by understanding the mindset up top and tactfully countering objections.
Here’s are reasons why employees are not allowed to work from home
The companies had a bad past experience.
Not everyone who wants to work remotely is actually cut out for it. Unfortunately, if a previous staff member or two slacked off when given the opportunity to work from home, your company’s leadership may have soured on the whole idea.
Try pointing out your stellar track record (and if you don’t have one, shelve the whole conversation). Convey the skills you possess that translate well to a remote environment, such as exceptional time management and the ability to work independently. Then, suggest a telework trial period.
The security of an “escape” if your boss isn’t happy with the arrangement may encourage giving it a try. And during this trial, of course, do everything you can to demonstrate that it can work. Quantify output and show results.
Nobody at the company has done it before.
Managers often enjoy the safety of the status quo and hold the attitude “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” Why bother changing things?
Combatting this problem involves showing the benefits of remote work to the company. Perhaps working from home would allow you to start or end your day outside of regular business hours, thus increasing the firm’s availability to clients. Or maybe you live in a snowy climate where traveling to the office on certain days challenges workers, and being able to perform from home would allow more tasks to get finished. Be it reduced overhead or the company’s desire to establish itself as more eco-friendly, find reasons working from home is a good idea for the bottom line.
They view remote work as a hassle.
Companies do not like to be inconvenienced, so they may find themselves bothered by the thought of staff members not on-site at the ready.
Remind your manager of collaborative tools already in use, such as company chat platforms and shared documents, that aid in staying in touch from anywhere. Confirm that you would respect agreed-upon hours of availability and respond promptly using the leader’s preferred method of communication (text, phone, video chat, etc.). Let them know you’re not averse to physically coming into the office for important meetings and/or training sessions that might benefit from face-to-face interaction.
They fear everyone will want to work remotely
Give one person the chance to work remotely, and soon the whole staff asks to do the same. Why bother opening that can of worms?
Whether your company likes it or not, remote work has evolved beyond the novelty stage. Sooner or later, the company will need to confront the issue to attract and retain talent.
That said, telling your manager to “just deal with it” probably won’t score points. You can, however, offer to help the company develop parameters and guidelines. Much like the trial period mentioned earlier, leaders can begin to see what works and what doesn’t based on first-hand experience. You can provide feedback from the remote working employee’s perspective. And if things go well, adding more remote workers to the mix might not sound so bad at all.
Thinking about why your company’s employees are not allowed to work from home can help you decide if you want to ask for remote work options and how best to do so. If remote work isn’t in the cards at your current job, check out FlexJobs to find remote-friendly positions. We offer flexible jobs that range from partially remote to fully remote in more than 50 job categories.
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