If you’re anything like me, working mornings can be frantic; rushing around getting everyone ready to leave, gulping down a quick cup of tea as you wrestle a toddler into clothes, tantrums and hysterics because you put the breakfast in the wrong bowl, hair scraped back quickly and makeup haphazardly applied (if at all). By the time you get to the office you already feel like you’ve done a full day’s work.
 
Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to go to the office at all, but instead just worked from home?
 
It’s the ideal - the dream of many an employee and a particularly attractive prospect for working mothers as we try to be available to our kids, without sacrificing our careers.
 
But how do you get your boss to agree to let you work from home one or two days a week? Here are five tips to get you from ‘stressed-out office slave’ to ‘chilled-out work-from-home mother ’.  
  • Make sure you are a valuable employee before you approach your boss. Most companies are not going to give any consideration to an employee who is not pulling their weight. So if you are not working to the best of your ability, start now.
  • Make sure that your role can be done from home and that you have all the necessary equipment and technology to make it work.
  • Prepare a list of benefits to the company, should you be given the opportunity to work from home one or two days a week, such as increased productivity due to the lack of distractions, no commute which means more time for work, quiet time used to make sales calls, write programming or prepare accounts, depending on your role.
  • Suggest a trial period to test if working from home could be a viable option. The lack of permanency will make it easier for your manager to agree. Make sure you make these trial work-from-home days extremely productive.
  • Be persistent, if your manager or boss seems reluctant when you first suggest it, don’t give up. Continue to prove your value as an employee and ask again at your next performance review.
Finally, don’t be afraid of rejection. What’s the worst that can happen? Your boss can say no but you you’ll be no worse off and maybe, just maybe, you’ll get what you want. 
 
Mum-of-two Elaine Lawless is part of the two-person team running The Working Mother.

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