“I’ve really enjoyed the flexibility of working from home (wfh) during the lockdown and want to continue to do so longer-term. Any tips on how to approach this with my boss as I don’t want to create the impression that I’m after an easy life?

With advances in technology, the rising costs of office space, employers wanting to offer flexibility to attract and retain good people, agile working was already on the rise. The recent pandemic has of course accelerated this trend even further.

Going to your boss with a serious and considered request to work more flexibly should certainly not cause shock waves or create the impression you’re after spending more time watching box sets.

Firstly, make a detailed plan before you approach your boss. Putting together a formal proposal outlining how it could work shows you’re taking it seriously, it’s important to you and you’ve given it careful consideration. Highlight examples demonstrating how you’ve already done well working from during home lockdown and how you successfully overcame any related challenges.

Secondly, is the technology in place within your organisation to make it work longer term? Consider the wfh/agile working culture within your organisation.

Thirdly, Breakdown your daily/weekly/monthly responsibilities. What are the more difficult tasks that would be tricky to continue doing remotely? Could they be adapted? Do you usually attend a lot of internal and external meetings in person? Do you supervise others?

Your detailed plan should be realistic and you need to anticipate any likely questions and concerns that may come up. Consider points from your employer’s perspective. What are the benefits for the company as well?

Be prepared to be flexible. Wfh full-time may not be realistic immediately after lockdown is lifted and as we all start returning to our offices, but perhaps you could reduce the number of days you have to commute and have a more blended arrangement. Perhaps suggest a trial period to see if it works – for them, and for you.

Finally, remember to check your company’s HR policy on flexible working requests so that you’re following the right procedures.

Jane Drew, associate careers consultant