I'm a programmer working for a startup in San Francisco. I go through pretty bad depressive phases during the winter (it is a medical condition).
It's often difficult to get out of bed, let alone actually be productive at work. My depression also seems to be linked to the weather and amount of sunlight (I feel better when I'm exposed to more sunlight).
I have let my employer know about my condition, and have touched on the topic of being able to work remotely from warmer places (ex: it would be summer in New Zealand). However, my boss and HR said that if they let me work remotely, then they would have to let everyone work remotely.
There are already a handful of people working remotely, but they negotiated the deal before joining the company, and are paid much less. I also talked to my Team Lead, and he is totally fine with me working remotely (my work, programming, doesn't require me to be on site or even interact with others too much).
I have considered quitting my job and just doing freelance work, but that would be a last resort. I've also set a deadline - August 1. If I cannot convince my boss by then, I'll quit.
How can I frame the conversation with my boss most effectively so I can work remotely?
I am not sure what would an employer be more likely to approve: work remotely, work part-time or take a Sabbatical each time I go through a depression, nor what would be an acceptable amount of time to ask for...
I'm willing to take a major pay cut. I only use 20% of my salary. Especially if I'm going to be living remotely instead of SF, I won't need most of it. I was thinking of using my salary as a bargaining chip (half my salary in exchange for this privilege). Do I have any other bargaining chips do I have in my favor, or points I can bring up to help my case?