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I'm in the USA. I relocated across the state for a new job before the pandemic because my employer had a no remote work policy when I was originally hired, but most of our department, myself included, have been working 100% remote since COVID and don't even have physical offices anymore. In fact, about a fifth of our staff have relocated outside the area, some to other states or even the other side of the country.

I love my job, but my wife and I aren't happy living in this city. The cost of living is just too high for us to meet our life goals, despite downgrading our living standards. We want to move back to our hometown (same state) but it may be awhile before my wife can find work there. I love my job and just want to change the location from which I work remotely, as many of my coworkers have recently.

When should I talk to my boss about this? How should I broach the subject? What details should I make sure to include, and what is irrelevant?

Note: I work for the government and it has historically taken a year or more to hire for my position. On top of that our office is only about 60% staffed and has had trouble hiring anyone at all for the past two years. So I don't think mentioning this to my boss will be an instant "fire and forget" scenario. I just want to make it as easy as possible for everyone.

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  • "about a fifth of our staff have relocated outside the area" is that your team or for everyone? If everyone, what is the percentage in your team/department?
    – cdkMoose
    Sep 8, 2022 at 13:10
  • You should have a serious conversation with your manager. If you work for the federal government, remote work policies are changing, you shouldn’t expect 100% remote policy to exist in the near future.
    – Donald
    Sep 9, 2022 at 2:01

3 Answers 3

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I love my job and just want to change the location from which I work remotely, as many of my coworkers have recently.

If many of your coworkers have already worked remotely from outside the city where your company is located, then you can use them as examples and ask your boss if you are allowed to do the same. This should make it easier for you to justify your reason to move.

In addition, you can also mention the high cost of living in the city of your company as another good reason.


At the very least, I don't think your boss would get mad when you approach him about this subject as he already allows many of your coworkers to work remotely.

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This should be a pretty straight-forward conversation with your boss. It can even be as simple as a quick message over your company's preferred service (Teams, Slack, whatever), rather than a big 1-1 meeting. It seems relatively commonplace for your peers to move elsewhere, and I can imagine that it will be just as easy for you to do so. If you have been 100% remote, logic dictates that you can be remote from anywhere.

Keep in mind that you are also not asking to move out of state. Some/most companies will have restrictions on which states you can move to,for tax and other reasons, but this isn't an issue for you, and I believe you won't have much pushback on this ask.

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When should I talk to my boss about this?

Now. Ask your boss if they have a few minutes to chat.

How should I broach the subject?

Keep it simple. Something like 'What's the chance I could go 100% remote?" would work.

This assumes you have a decent, non-contentious, relationship with your boss.

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