Asking work to work from home

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abbyblack's picture
Joined: 06/18/09
Posts: 146
Asking work to work from home

Have any of you written a proposal to your place of work to work from home, after the baby comes? Was your proposal approved?

My situation is I commute 1.5 hours (each way) to and from work. What I do only requires a lap top, and phone line. When the baby comes there is no way I can be in the car for 3 hours a day. Quitting is not an option as I am the primary bread winner and I can't afford to be on unpaid leave, but I also can not afford day care at $300/week (yes that is the lowest rate) here in California. Plus, I do not want some stranger watching my baby! I am a first time mom. How do I make this work?

MrsSchepp's picture
Joined: 12/30/06
Posts: 496

Couldn't hurt to ask! Just lay out all the info for them. Hope it works out for you! Wouldn't be possible for me to work from home (Hi there...I'm going to start your IV over the phone now!) but then again I only work 2 nights a week. Let us know how it goes!

Joined: 06/26/11
Posts: 331

I agree, it wouldn't hurt to ask. Is there anyone else in your company that works from home? I would think your chances are pretty good if they have already made those kind of arrangements previously. You might be able to entice them by offering to take a small pay cut (since you no longer would have the transportation costs associated with commuting to the office every day).

One word of advice though is that you might still want to consider some options for childcare. I worked for my dad running the office when Kylie was a baby and took her to work with me every day. It was a great set-up, but it was extremely difficult to juggle both the baby and my job responsibilities at the same time. If you have flexible hours, it might not be as much of an issue because you can work when baby is napping. Otherwise, you might want to consider having a nanny watch the baby at your house while you work for at least a few hours a day. Just food for thought.

Keep us posted and let us know how it all works out.

waitingimpatiently614's picture
Joined: 02/17/09
Posts: 386

i don't personally have experience with this, but i have a friend who had a job that she could just as easily do from home, and she was able to negotiate with her employer to mostly work from home after her baby was born. she started out asking to totally work from home, and they nixed that idea, so then she convinced them to let her do it four days a week. that way, she was only commuting one day a week and paid a neighbor to keep her baby on that day. and they felt better about her still having a weekly "presence" at work, being invested in her job, attending staff meetings, etc. they also only agreed to let her do it on a "trial basis," and said they would need to reevaluate after 60 days and she might be forced to return to the office full-time. but she proved during that time that it was working well, so they let her continue. and even if they had made her give up being at home, at least she would have gotten those first 60 days with her baby without having to take unpaid leave! i really hope it works out for you, because it sounds like it could be an ideal situation if they'll let you!

don't you wish we all lived in europe and got a year of paid maternity leave? Smile

abbyblack's picture
Joined: 06/18/09
Posts: 146

I work in an office of 5 people. The boss is my mom, the IT person is my husband, and we have two other women in the office. Since the boss is my MOM I thought when I asked her that it would be an easy conversation. I expected to hear, "sure of course you can work from home most days, just come in for meetings". Also, we are seasonal and only really busy from after the New Year until Mid-July then things slow down from July to January. My dad suggested writing up a proposal for my mom.

lmh101979's picture
Joined: 07/05/09
Posts: 966

I think that might stack the odds in your favor a little. Smile I do agree with Erin about getting someone to help you with the baby so you can get some serious work time in. It's amazing how needy someone so tiny can be!

Joined: 04/27/09
Posts: 251


Hi there! I actually did work from home when my DD turned 1 year old and I had to go back to work. I live in Canada, so our mat leave system is different from yours...but basically what happened was that while I was on my one-year leave, my company had to hire and fire a replacement for me TWICE...they just couldn't find a suitable replacement. But I had already moved 2 hours away and had told them that I didn't want to move back to the City, and I didn't want to commute. The company didn't want to go through the hiring process a third time, so they actually proposed a work from home arrangement to me.

I worked 4 days a week from home, and 1 day a week I did the 2 hour (each way) commute in to the City for meetings. That one day a week was tough, but overall manageable.

The key component in getting my company on board with a work from home plan was that they had to realize the value that I added to the company, and how difficult, time consuming and expensive it was for them to find a replacement. I kinda lucked out in my situation, but I think you should focus on the "value" aspect in your proposal - ie let them know what's in it for THEM to go along with this arrangment.

Also, I 100% agree with NoelleB that you should still try to find some kind of part-time child care. The term "working from home" can be misleading as it conjures up an image of sending emails in a housecoat, while Junior quietly amuses him/herself in a playpen...but I can fully attest to the fact that it is extremely difficult to give both an infant and a job the attention that they both need at the same time. I never would have been able to compose a single email with my toddler around...she needed to be in daycare while I worked.

Good luck!!!!

jessnewmama's picture
Joined: 09/24/11
Posts: 55

I definitely agree that it's important to highlight what benefit you bring to the company that most likely wouldn't be found in a new hire off the street. I have actually also been thinking about making a proposal to my company to work from home, but I'm still undecided. The money isn't absolutely needed but it seems like an ideal situation to just work part-time at home while I'm with the baby. I just don't know if I will want to by the time the baby comes. My boss thinks I'm really great so I think she might fight for me (to the larger company that we just got bought out by) if I go that route. Sounds like your boss probably thinks the world of you too! Biggrin

abbyblack's picture
Joined: 06/18/09
Posts: 146

Thanks ladies! Smile I might propose working 4 days from home as a starting point for negotiating. I will keep you posted!