How to ask your boss for a hybrid work arrangement

September 21, 2021

As we continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19, more than half (58%) of Canadian companies plan to continue with a hybrid work model, even as public health restrictions start to lift. Flexible workplace arrangements cut overhead costs for employers and give staff more work-life balance. An estimated 3.1 million Canadians have shifted to remote work since March 2020 and a recent Statistics Canada survey shows about 80% of new teleworkers want to continue working at least half of their hours from home once the pandemic is over.

How to ask your boss for a hybrid work arrangement

[Photo Credit: stnazkul]

But while some businesses are embracing this new hybrid model as the future of work, others are keen for employees to return to the office. If you’re looking to adopt — or keep — a flexible work schedule, here’s how to approach the discussion with your boss.


Need more advice on how to ask your employer for a hybrid work schedule?
Let YP find Career Counselling services to help guide your workplace negotiations.


Prepare a script
Outlining talking points ahead of time can help alleviate pressure during high-stakes conversations at work. When asking for work-from-home days, you want to strike a balance between advocating for yourself and acknowledging your employer’s needs and objectives.  Refrain from using “I” statements that emphasize your priorities such as, “I need to be home for my family” and instead focus on demonstrating how a flexible work arrangement will benefit the company.

Be specific in your request by identifying which days you plan to work remotely and why. Avoid asking for Mondays and Fridays as your remote-work days — as your employer may interpret this request as a way to prolong the weekend.

Use facts to support your request
The vast majority of Canadians believe they’ve sustained or increased productivity while working from home. However, distance can breed distrust among managers and supervisors. Take a ‘show, don’t tell’ approach when proving your performance. Gain your employer’s trust by providing concrete examples of how you’ve effectively maintained or improved your productivity while working from home.

●        Outline your accomplishments with concrete KPIs, such as increased sales or new client acquisitions.
●        Identify the tools and technologies you use to maintain productivity, ensure data security to protect confidential company information, and collaborate effectively with colleagues.
●        Gather testimonials from managers, staff, or customers on your performance to further demonstrate how you excel while working remotely.

Be flexible
Negotiation is a two-way street, so be willing to collaborate with your employer to devise a hybrid work plan that works for you, your team, and the company. If you aren’t permitted to work from home on specific days of the week, offer to shift your hours to better accommodate your personal needs.

Your work schedule is part of your overall compensation structure — just like salary and vacation days — so be ready to take a cut in other areas if needed.  If your employer is still hesitant about allowing you to work from home, suggest a three-month trial period with regular check-ins to help build trust and evaluate your performance on an ongoing basis.

Consider alternate roles
Ultimately, there are positions that require face time. Those in leadership roles are responsible for overseeing direct reports and might need to be in the office to manage their department. If work-from-home days are a priority for you, you may consider transitioning into a more independent role within your company that allows you more flexibility of when and where you do your work.

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