I accepted a job back in October as a software developer for a company I've interned for twice. I have a great relationship with the company, and they were eager to hire me on after the summer's work. I am signed on to start in July and I graduate college in May. I'm interested in working remotely, and the job I signed on for is not remote. The company is fairly large, and has the occasional remote developer. With the permission of my boss, I worked remotely this past summer about 1/3 to 1/2 of the time.

The team is smaller (6 devs) and based out of one office, with the exception of one dev who works remotely in a different state. I am on good terms with many higher ups and my future team at the company. How can I best go about asking if me working remotely is a possibility? I've realized during my last year of school that the desk job would, I feel, keep me away from all the places I want to be. I would move states for the job, and I think would quickly struggle to find time to travel, visit my family, and visit my girlfriend. The job would put me in a state at least one plane ride away from each of those groups and I would like to pick up and spend weeks at at time in different places.

I have been looking at many other remote dev jobs online and am considering applying. However, it seems difficult as an entry level dev to land a remote gig. Nevertheless, should I try to get a remote offer from another company and then counter the current job I accepted with that? Or should I just drop my recruiter or future manager (both of which I've been in light contact with since accepting the offer) a line and ask if working remote is a possibility? I feel like with my history with the company, and the fact that I've worked remotely before (though not full time) gives me a bit of credibility, but I understand I don't have much leverage as an entry level guy. I work passionately and I would probably be happier and output better work if I felt freed by working remotely...


3 Answers 3


How can I best go about asking if me working remotely is a possibility?

Just ask!

When you talk with them, emphasize specifically how you intend to be a full contributor, and specifically how you intend to be extremely productive - even though you won't be physically present. Give specific examples of the kinds of things you will do to stay connected, based on what you learned while working remotely as an intern. De-emphasize the parts about family, girlfriend, and travel, as these are about your lifestyle and not about the company or job. As @Carson6300 wisely states: "Nobody wants to hear a laundry list of reasons why remote work is better for you. You need them to hear reasons why it is going to work well for them."

More and more employers these days offer work-from-home as a benefit. Some permit this for the full work week, others for part of the week, and others just on an as-needed basis.

Many of the employers who offer full work-from-home options are the types of jobs that are performed individually, with no need for collaboration, and very few meetings. Call center employees are a classic example. Sometimes other customer support positions fit in this category as well.

As you have indicated, entry-level developer jobs which are solely remote are indeed fewer in number, but may be growing in popularity. My experience has been that companies tend to offer telecommuting more to trusted, longer-term developers. And many companies feel that close collaboration with others in the company (of the kind that can't happen remotely) is important, and don't offer much remote work at all.

I recently worked at a company that offered telecommuting on a case-by-case basis. It wasn't offered to anyone that hadn't been with the company for at least a year. And you had to make a pretty good case to show that it wouldn't negatively impact your work, or the work of your team, to be granted work-from-home privileges. Simply saying "I am more productive from home" or "I want to be able to visit my girlfriend" wouldn't be enough. I was able to be granted permission to work from home one day per week, after I showed how I could move all the many meetings needing my physical presence to other days, and how I could continue to be reached easily while remote. I was already at the company for eight years when I was given this permission.

As you say, your internships with the company may have given you enough positive history to convince them to allow you to work remotely. The fact that you have already worked remotely, and have certainly complied an outstanding remote work history will work in your favor, too.

The only way you'll know is to ask.

  • 1
    Just ask, this is really the only solution
    – Kilisi
    Feb 6, 2016 at 23:03
  • 3
    Second paragraph is the key. Nobody wants to hear a laundry list of reasons why remote work is better for you. You need them to hear reasons why it is going to work well for them. Feb 7, 2016 at 0:21

Understand what the company needs first.

Logistics, on boarding, training, evaluations, security, trust and how the team works/communicates need to be understood before you can make a proposal on why working remotely will not only interfere with their operation, but be more conducive to your personal productivity. You may need to be onsight for several months to get you up to speed in their eyes.

Working remotely is not the same as flex-time/schedule.

There are people who work remotely but are still expected to attend meetings and be available to others that are working regular hours. Some places evaluating you on just getting work done and don't care when. Others are only comfortable when you demonstrate you are available when needed. Many programming jobs have requirements besides sitting alone at the computer.

You may not be in a position to hop on a plane when you feel like it especially if you go somewhere in a different time zone. Your girlfriend and family won't really benefit from your visit if you sleep all day and are up all night and they're not.

Offer to do a trial period and know how you're evaluated. Many companies/managers are hesitant to offer what they see as a perk to a new hire or anyone else if they think it won't work and can't take it back. Even if you don't work remotely, it is important for you to know how well of a job they think you're doing. That involves knowing the criteria, level of expectations, how you're evaluated and what are the time-frames. You don't want to find out on a Friday afternoon that the boss isn't comfortable with you working remotely and expects you to be in the office first thing Monday morning.


"What is your company's policy on hybrid/remote working?"

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