4 Persuasion Techniques to Convince Your Boss to Allow Remote Work!

February 14, 2024

如何說服老闆讓你在家工作?學會這 4 種勸說法讓老闆拒絕不了你

Photo by recep-bg from iStock

【The article wants you to know】
1. The boss's perspective on remote work for employees
2. 4 methods to persuade your boss to let you work remotely
3. How to convince your boss and increase their willingness

Do you often find yourself thinking, "Since most of my work can be done with a computer, then why do I need to stay in the office?" Trying to negotiate with your boss for remote work but facing obstacles at every turn? Wondering how to persuade your boss to let you work from home? Today, I'll share four interesting persuasion methods to increase your chances of successful communication with your boss and convince them to allow you to start remote work.

How to Convince Your Boss? Understand What Your Boss Is Thinking

Before requesting remote work from your boss, you need to clarify a few things:

  • What is your boss thinking? Why is your boss not receptive to suggestions?
  • Does your profession truly allow for remote work?
  • How should you communicate with your boss to successfully propose the idea?

Let's break down why you need to consider these aspects one by one.

Why Isn't Your Boss Listening to Suggestions?

Firstly, what is your boss thinking? Why isn't your boss listening to suggestions?

As an employee, if your boss rejects your request to work from home, you might instinctively think your boss is conservative and resistant to change. However, from the boss's perspective, there are more considerations than just an employee's viewpoint.

From the boss's standpoint, they must think about everything from the company's perspective and cannot agree to your request based solely on vague reasons like "you think it would be better." When your boss hears about your desire for remote work, they might be contemplating:

  • Is allowing employees to work remotely the most crucial thing at the moment?
  • Will remote work bring better revenue or other benefits?
  • Will the cost of communication with remote employees be higher, and will work efficiency decrease?

If the answers to these questions are negative, or if your boss still believes that coming to the office is better for the company, they will likely reject your request. While some bosses may be resistant to change, I believe many carefully consider the decision after thorough thought.

Is Your Profession Suitable for Remote Work?

Next, you must determine if the nature of your profession truly allows for remote work. Some professions, such as chefs or drivers, may genuinely require physical presence and cannot be done remotely. Currently, remote work is more widely accepted in industries like startups or foreign companies, while traditional industries may be less inclined due to a lack of understanding of how to transition and manage employees in a remote setting.

Further Reading: 無法遠距工作?連保母都能雲端帶小孩?6 個案例讓你看見美國如何突破遠端辦公

How to Communicate with Your Boss?

To convince your boss to let you work remotely, it's not enough for you to believe it can be done. In addition to the boss's other considerations and the suitability of your profession, you need to think about whether the company's equipment supports remote work and if there are concerns about disclosing business secrets. It's not something that can be achieved solely through wishful thinking.

Suppose your job is genuinely suitable for remote work, but your current boss is reluctant to allow it. In that case, you can try the following four persuasive approaches. This way, you have a chance to maintain a good relationship with your boss, enable remote work for yourself, and continue providing value to the company, creating a win-win situation.

How to Convince Your Boss? Try These 4 Persuasive Approaches

1. Emotional appeal Method

The condition for using this persuasion method is that you must maintain a good relationship with your boss. With this premise, you can explicitly talk to your boss like a friend, explaining why you need to work remotely. It could be due to:

  • Long commuting times?
  • Lack of sleep?
  • High commuting expenses?
  • Poor focus in the office?
  • Physical discomfort from sitting all day?

The key here is to clarify the difference between "need" and "want." "Need" implies making a change that genuinely brings positive results, while "want" is often for the sake of convenience, which may not necessarily improve your work performance.

For example, a marketing friend of mine used this method to tell his boss that remote work allows him to focus better, work faster, and complete more tasks. Initially skeptical, the boss allowed him a two-week trial. When the results proved positive, he continued with a few days of remote work each week, focusing on planning. If you have a good relationship with your boss, you can try the personal appeal method, but you must genuinely deliver results.

2. Performance Assurance Method

The first method involves an emotional appeal, while the performance assurance method takes a rational approach. You must present a remote work plan to your boss, specifying:

  • How many hours you plan to work each day?
  • What tasks you plan to accomplish each day?
  • What benefits remote work can bring to yourself and the company? (It's best to include Key Performance Indicators - KPIs)

Make sure your boss clearly understands what you can achieve through remote work. The key is to make your boss recognize and approve your plan. If the boss has doubts, you can negotiate a compromise. You don't have to request complete freedom immediately; just ask for a two-week trial. If you fail to meet the commitments outlined in the plan, you won't insist on remote work.

The performance assurance method is particularly suitable for professions like engineers or designers. If remote work can enhance your creativity and efficiency, bosses are generally willing to give it a try. After all, sitting in the office with poor efficiency is not beneficial for them.

Further Reading:《遠距工作模式》一本超適合送給老闆的遠端協作、管理、溝通工具書

3. Logical Persuasion Method

Similar to the performance assurance method, the logical persuasion method assumes your boss is willing to communicate and accept modern concepts with fewer generation gaps. Like the performance assurance method, you need to clearly explain the benefits of remote work for you, your boss, and the company. This could include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Energy and resource savings
  • Reduction in personnel costs
  • Enhanced trust between employees and employers
  • Increased employee achievement and satisfaction
  • Improved employee mood and efficiency

Supporting your explanations with relevant data and statistics, or even creating a clear presentation, can enhance your case. It's somewhat like an upgraded version of the performance assurance method, requiring a more logical explanation of the benefits and consequences of remote work, especially since remote work is not yet a mainstream work model in Taiwan.

Therefore, for traditional industries, practical examples are crucial to help them understand the benefits and how it can address their pain points. This adds more persuasiveness to your case.

4. Special Treatment Method

If you play a significant role in the company, possess exceptional skills, or are a trusted senior employee, you can try this method.

"Trust" is a powerful tool but challenging to accumulate. If you consistently fulfill your responsibilities, gain sufficient trust from your boss, and are a key player in the company, your chances of successfully negotiating remote work are generally high. Moreover, if you are a crucial part of the company, you will have more leverage in negotiations with your boss.

However, discussing how to become the boss's favorite and gain their trust requires a separate conversation. Here, I invite you to contemplate how you can achieve that.

Further Reading: 職場就是我的遊樂場!那些在朝九晚五辦公室裡學會的事情 / 今天的人設是專業上班族

How to Convince Your Boss? Increasing Boss's Willingness

Have you ever wondered why remote work is a cost-effective, efficient, and happiness-inducing method for employees, yet some bosses are hesitant? It could be because they cannot ensure that, without physical presence, you can truly contribute more to the company. They might worry about your capabilities, trustworthiness, and feel the need to keep an eye on you. But viewed differently, if you were the boss, wouldn't you find it easier to approve requests from self-sufficient employees who take care of everything without needing constant supervision? This brings us back to the issue of "trust."

If you can demonstrate the benefits of remote work and make your boss have enough trust in you, your chances of negotiating successfully will significantly increase. As they gradually realize, "It seems like you can genuinely achieve this without coming to the office," their willingness to continue trying remote work will naturally increase. Eventually, they may even expand the remote work culture throughout the entire company.

How to Convince Your Boss? The Key Lies in Requesting

Remember my friend mentioned in the emotional appeal method? His company is in the biotech industry, and he is the only employee working remotely. While he is competent, the primary reason he can spend two to three days a week working in a coffee shop is that:

He spoke up and made the request.

He bravely approached his boss, admitting that he easily gets distracted in the office and chats with colleagues. However, when working alone, his efficiency improves. He presented a corresponding plan, proved it with results, and even though some colleagues complained about the perceived unfairness, it might be that they simply didn't dare to ask.

Whether you can work remotely might ultimately be in the hands of your boss. They evaluate whether you qualify, whether you are loyal to the company, and perhaps whether they trust you enough. It's like buying a lottery ticket – you can't decide if you'll win, but you can give yourself a "proactive" chance to win, right? In the end, let's summarize what you should do if you want to convince your boss to let you work from home:

  • Evaluate whether your industry is suitable for remote work.
  • Choose one of the persuasive approaches mentioned above.
  • Create a logically sound persuasive document or proposal.
  • Consider how to deliver on your commitments and plan your workflow.
  • Gather courage to talk to your boss: "Could we discuss a new plan for work?"

If your proposal genuinely benefits the company and proves effective, I believe most bosses will be willing to give it a try. You might think this idea is impractical, but that doesn't mean it's not worth attempting, right? Finally, let's reflect on how taking the initiative can give you a chance to win, similar to playing the lottery!


This article is reprinted from:Zoeyarticle

(This article is translated by the Digital Nomad editor group.)

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佐依 Zoey

佐依 Zoey

Zoey, a savvy entrepreneur excelling in a home-based venture spanning podcasts, blogs, and diverse social media platforms. Her adept management has yielded financial success exceeding one hundred thousand. Central to her ethos is a commitment to design thinking and branding, guiding students toward autonomous learning and the synthesis of personal passion with career pursuits. Within her visionary tutelage, individuals embark on a journey where work and travel seamlessly intertwine, epitomizing a purposeful lifestyle.