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How to ask for time off when you work from home

There has been a huge rise in the number of people working remotely. In the US, for example, it is expected that nearly half of all employees will work from home by next year. But telecommuting doesn’t always mean ultimate flexibility, so how can you be sure to cover yourself if you need to run an important errand during your working hours? Here are a couple of tips from Mashable’s Sara McCord.

Don’t take advantage of your situation
It’s dangerous to assume that working from home means you can do your work whenever and wherever. Always check your contract or your company policy to find out what is expected of you. Some companies may offer flexible hours for remote workers, while others stipulate that they need to work the same hours as those in the office.

One of the quickest ways to lose your boss’s trust – and possibly the ability to work from home – is to take advantage of the fact that your manager can’t physically see what you’re doing. Save yourself a difficult conversation by checking what you can and cannot do.

If the policy does state that you can determine your own hours and you need to run important life errands, cover yourself by letting your boss know you’ll be unavailable for a few hours and you’ll make up the time later in the day. That way it doesn’t look as if you’ve ignored any important emails.

Consider a ‘workcation’
This doesn’t mean you should plan to work during your holiday. If you’re taking a genuine multi-day trip with family or just need to get away from it all for a while, request the time off as part of your normal holiday entitlement.

But if, for instance, you need to travel out of town but can still work, run a ‘workcation’ past your boss. Let them know the situation and find out if he or she is okay with you working from a different location and possibly during different hours if there’s a time difference. Be sure to stick to the conditions and timetables you agree with your manager.

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