What to Include in a Remote Work Proposal

Pregnant lady works from her home office

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A remote work proposal is a written request to work from home or some other virtual office location outside of the corporate location. Detailed remote work proposals can help convince your supervisor or employer to allow you to telecommute, at least part-time.

Write the work-from-home proposal from your employer's perspective and answer any questions or concerns about your not being physically at the office.

There are some things you should know before asking to work from home.

Remote Work Proposal Tips

Below are the questions you should answer in your remote work proposal. The idea is to answer what your supervisor will most likely be wondering when it comes to whether or not you should be given a work from home position.

What's Your Work Plan?

Give a description of the proposed work plan, with details on the length of the plan and the proposed trial period.

This is important because you want the proposal to be framed as a trial only. You're not suggesting an ultimatum or putting pressure on the company to make a decision right now. They can gauge your performance while you work from home and see if it'll ultimately be a benefit.

Here's an example:

I would like to explore the possibility of performing my duties as a web developer from my home office for three days a week. I propose that we can do a three-month trial telecommuting arrangement starting on March 1st and then evaluate continuing that work arrangement based on my productivity and quality of work.

Are There Any Extenuating Circumstances?

If you have pressing reasons why you need to work from home, go ahead and mention them, but if not, don't make them up.

Maybe you're pregnant but you want to keep getting your work done while at home with your baby. Or, maybe your wife or child just passed away — or you were recently injured and can barely walk — working from home would help ease the transition from home stay to going back to work.

Another reason could be that it's hard to deal with your co-workers. Maybe they're extremely distracting or unhelpful, and working from home would provide you that much-needed peace of mind. However, be sure to really consider whether this is worth mentioning because it could cause a rift between you and the other workers or even your boss.

How Will the Company Benefit?

An important question your employer will most definitely be wondering is how advantageous to the department and company your working from home will be. If it doesn't benefit them financially, it's probably a no-go.

State everything you can think of for how telecommuting will benefit the business. Here are some ideas that might apply to your situation:

  • Cost savings: They won't be buying your coffee, or taking you out to lunch, or ordering office supplies for your desk, or paying for your electricity and water usage, etc. The same is true for you: you won't have to pay for gas to get to work, or train/Uber/bus fees.
  • Increased productivity: Many people who work from home explain that with fewer distractions and zero over-the-shoulder management, it's easier to get work done and stay on task for extended periods of time. Describe how you think your work will improve being away from the office.
  • Greater employee morale: It can be hard to be enthusiastic about your work when you're surrounded by downer employees and the typical office setting. Explain in your remote work proposal that being at home or in a more relaxed setting is exactly what you need to stay motivated and excited about your work.
  • Flexible schedule: Some people who work from home manage to arrange with their company that they'll work the hours they want so long as the work gets done on time. This type of schedule can be really helpful to the company because they can rely on you basically any time of day, or even on the weekends.

Reinforce that you have been a valuable staff member and that you believe you can maintain or even increase your productivity and work quality from home, where there are fewer interruptions than at the office. If your company already has a telecommuting policy, incorporate facts about it here.

How Will You Communicate With the Office?

Indicate whether your current schedule will stay the same or not and any effect it may have on workflow. For example, note if you'll be in the office on days when regular meetings tend to happen or if you'll be available for meetings on other days in person or via remote conferencing.

Assure your employer that you will remain available from home during regular business hours for keeping in touch with your supervisor, co-workers, and customers.

How Will Your Home Office Function?

Provide a description of your work address, location, and phone number(s), as well as your workspace. Emphasize the ways in which it ensures privacy, allows freedom from diversions, and enhances focus.

It might even be a good idea to set up your home office ahead of time, even if you're unsure whether your remote work proposal will be accepted so that you can get a feel for how it looks and feels. This will help you explain how it all works.

What Will You Need From Us?

Do you need equipment and other resources from the company? Outline your current setup and what the company might need to provide.

For example, your home office might be fully equipped with everything needed to perform your job efficiently and effectively: broadband internet access, a computer, a dedicated work phone number, and a webcam.

However, you might have to propose that you'll need to use the company's established VPN setup to connect to the office desktop and transfer files securely over the network.

Mention any hardware or software needed for your specific job duties. You probably don't need a desk or a computer chair, but if you have lots of items that need printed and taken into the office every few weeks, for example, you might ask about printer paper and ink. Or, if your work computer runs specific software that you'll need at home, you'll have to request that, too.

VPNs and other remote access software would be useful in this situation. Instead of requesting software copies for your home computer, you could explain that remote access programs let you use your work computer from home; no additional software licenses or installations needed.

Additional Assurances

Include any facts about your job that are suited particularly well to telecommuting and your strategies for staying productive and accountable.

For example, you might mention emailing weekly status reports and maintaining availability through instant messaging.