I'm a Chief People Officer — Successfully Ask Your Boss to Stay Remote By Saying This

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April 23, 2024 at 4:29AM UTC
During 2020's shutdowns, the business world learned that working from home is a viable option for many office jobs. And in 2021, a staggering amount of people wonder why they'd ever have to go back to the office if that's the case. 
A recent survey conducted by US News found that 40% of Americans want to work from home full-time, with another 35% wanting to split their time between remote work and days in the office. As the delta variant spreads in the United States and people reconsider their desire to go into the office, this number of WFH hopefuls is likely to rise. 
If you find yourself wanting to work from home and you're wondering how to discuss that possibility with your manager, Tracy Cote has advice for you. 
Cote, the chief people officer of StockX, spoke to Huffington Post about how to ask to work from home permanently. While her advice started with the basics — make sure remote work is feasible in your role and frame your ability to stay home as a value add for the organization — it ended with a piece of advice I haven't seen before. 

If your office is heading back to work and you aren't interested in an in-person work experience, frame your staying home as an experiment instead of a forever change. 

“Suggest a trial period to see how it goes with you working fully remote, even as other members of the team are in the building or working in a hybrid model,” Cote said. “This will give your manager comfort that the arrangement can be dialed back if it’s not working out, and they may be more likely to give it a go.”
Frame your trial period as a provable experiment to bring even more comfort to stakeholders who may have to stick their neck out to help you. Offer to collect certain evidence of increased productivity or creativity — whatever benefit you're providing as your argument to work remote. 
Now, you have some time to prove that your value proposition was real from the comfort of your own home, and you have evidence to bring to the later conversation about being wholly WFH.

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