I'm working in the United States for a small company. It is not unlikely that, several months from now, it will be beneficial for me, for family reasons, to move to another city. I wish to broach the topic of telecommuting (working remotely) with my employer. (I don't do anything that technically requires me to be in the office, but of course my employer prefers people to be in the office for accountability, camaraderie, morale, easy consultation, or whatever reasons it has. Currently, no one works remotely full-time (although people do so occasionally).) I would like to broach the topic with my employer now, so that I know whether I'm able to move. (If my employer refuses to allow me to telecommute, then the cost of moving will outweigh the benefit, and I will not move.) I can think of a couple of ways to broach this topic:
- Be honest. "It's likely that it will be somewhat beneficial for me to move, etc. Can I work remotely?" The downside of admitting the likelihood of my wish to move is that, if my employer refuses my request, it may start to view me as a quitting risk, and begin to seek a replacement (or partial replacement(s) for various aspects of my job), eventually firing me or at least not promoting me.
Another downside is that, by specifying that I want to move and not that I absolutely must, I'm giving them less incentive to grant my request (assuming they want to keep me).
- "There's a slim possibility that I'll absolutely need to move, etc. Can I work remotely?" The first downside from #1 exists here and may even be more likely since I'm saying the move may be necessary (or may be less since I'm saying the probability is slim). The second downside from #1 is gone.
- "It's likely I'll absolutely need to move." The first downside from #1 exists here and is even stronger. The second downside from #1 is gone.
- "There's a slim possibility that it will be somewhat beneficial for me to move, etc. Can I work remotely?" This has the first downside from #1, though weaker. It also has the second downside from #1, stronger. Plus, it sounds rather wishy-washy.
There may of course be other options. (And other up-/downsides to the existing options.) What do you suggest?
If it's relevant, the person I would ask would probably be the CEO. That is not whom I report to most regularly, but he is aware in a general sense of much of what I'm doing. (Like I said, it's a small company.)
I see the answers to "How should I bring up working from home?", but they are more general (not about someone with a specific reason to move cities) and about a limited-telecommuting case (working part-time remotely, not full-time).