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How to approach your employer about working remotely.

Hi! My name is Siobhan and I am a Science Writer. I currently live in mid-Wales but will shortly be moving to RAF Brize Norton. It’ll be the first time living in military housing for me and I’ve been able to secure a 6 month trial of working remotely for my current employer.

As we are a small company, and I’d been there a couple of years in a different role, my colleagues already knew that my partner was in the forces but the idea of working remotely had never been mentioned as it wouldn’t have been suitable in my previous role.

Loving my job as I do, I was determined to try and keep it when the move happened. I found there wasn’t much information in our workplace handbook but the advice on government webpages stated;

you are allowed to request to work remotely without any penalty.It also states that any employee with more than 26 weeks service has the legal right to apply to work remotely and employers must approach requests in a “reasonable manner.” Employers must also have a “good business reason” to refuse the application.

I’m lucky to have a fantastic relationship with my manager so started the conversation early and then submitted an application in writing. The initial proposal was discussed and I was asked to provide more details.

Everything was looking up, and then lockdown. I assumed my application would fall off the agenda but just a few weeks into lockdown my manager sought a meeting to make sure I could get answers in an appropriate timescale. The finer details were agreed on both sides and I started my 6 month trial in the middle of May.

Realistically, there was a time this year when I had to accept I may be facing unemployment, a wedding and a house move within four weeks. Though I had come to terms with that possibility, I am delighted to be facing any future challenges with my employment now secure.

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